TEAMWORK in the Plant Kingdom! - FocusU

TEAMWORK in the Plant Kingdom!

We spoke in one of our earlier blogs about team work in the animal kingdom. That got me curious if there are similar stories from the plant kingdom as well. Some research in the subject was enlightening for me – flora and fauna are equally rich in examples of good team work! Yes, you heard that right – plants also show some of the same behaviors that are observed in the corporate world like collaboration, cohesiveness and common goals!

In the corporate world, we talk about a team being a group of individuals aligned towards the same goal. The same definition holds good in the plant world – the common goal in many cases being that of their very survival!  To take a common example, pepper plants and tomatoes have an invisible bond. Pepper plants thrive in high humidity environments and tomato plants need a lot of direct sunlight to grow. However, tomatoes can be harmed by too much direct sunlight in the fruit stage. By growing tomato plants and peppers together, they serve a symbiotic relationship – tomato plants raise the humidity level while the pepper plants protect the ripening tomatoes from too much sunlight.


Source: FlickrThese companions (like colleagues in a work place) act as a team to achieve a common objective – mutual survival. Like in the corporate world, if one perishes, it is very likely, that the survival of others would be threatened too!   These companions are present everywhere in the plant kingdom, across fields, agricultural lands and few cultivation fields also.


Source: FlickrNow the question arises that if these plants act as a team how do they communicate with each other? Surprisingly, they do have means of communicating with each other too! For example, plants can warn each other of insect attacks by communicating via the symbiotic fungi wrapped around their root systems.

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weed plant

Source: PixabayThe similarities do not end there, like in any corporate team at work, selecting the right people for the team is crucial in the plant kingdom as well. Weeds (undesirable members) block the growth environment and prevent the overall environment from progressing. The teams which are able to survive have either managed to constrict the weeds’ growth or taken external help from human beings to literally “weed out” the bad elements.  Do you have any examples that you know of in the plant or animal kingdom that you would like to share? DO join the conversation.

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