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植物会思考吗? – 译学馆
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植物会思考吗?

Do Plants Think?

背景音乐
* Intro Theme *
1960年 冷战最激烈的时期
In the 1960’s, at the height of the Cold War,
美国中央情报局审查人克里夫·巴斯特(音)因为一些原因将测谎仪
CIA interrogator Cleve Baxter hooked his polygraph machine up
与一株室内植物链接
to a house plant, for some reason.
在他的实验过程中
Over the course of his experiments,
巴斯特观察到当植物受到伤害
Baxter obsevered a change in electrical resistance when the plants were harmed,
或受到威胁时有电阻变化
or threatened with harm.
这产生了一种植物有感觉的观点
This led to the idea that plants possess sentience,
植物可能有超感官知觉
that they might even have ESP, Extra Sensory Perception.
这有道理可循吗
Is there any truth to that notion?
没有 植物看不见你 听不见你
No. Plants cannot see you, they can’t hear you,
它们也不能读懂你的心声
and they most definitely can’t read your mind.
但是 植物能感知真的让人觉得更有意思
But, the senses they do have are even more interesting.
植物确实是在一个地方扎根
Plants are literally rooted in one place.
它们不能遇到危险逃跑或者走到院子里向阳的地方去
They can’t run away from danger or walk over to the sunnier side of the garden,
植物要适应大自然给予的环境
They have to adapt to what nature gives them.
因此植物发展出感知世界独特之道 甚至相互之间能够交流
So ,they’ve developed special ways of sensing the world, and even communicating with each other.
植物要弄明白的第一件事就是哪个方向是朝上 哪个方向是朝下
The first thing every plant figures out is which way is up, and which is down.
这是本体感受 一种空间位置感知的能力 我们也有
It’s called Proprioception, the ability to sense position in space and we do it too.
那么植物是如何辨别方向的呢
So how do plants know the difference?
因为有光这是一种显而易见的猜想 但即使在黑暗中发芽的种子
Light is an obvious guess but even seeds that germinate in the dark
扎根发芽也不会弄错方向
can aim their shoots and roots correctly.
几个世纪之前 植物学家注意到颠倒的植物幼苗能够调整自己的方向
Centuries ago, botanists noticed that an upside-down seedling would always reorient its parts,
并且在转盘上生长的植物根系能以
and that plants grown on a spinning wheel would point their roots
离心力的方向生长
in the direction of centrifugal force.
植物能感知重力这一点是清楚的
It was clear that they were sensing gravity.
达尔文验证了重力感应细胞在植物根系末梢 这一点没有人比他更清楚了
It was none other than Charles Darwin who showed that the gravity sensing cells lived in the tip of the root,
剪断这些末梢植物就无法判断哪边是朝下
cut them off and the plant doesn’t know which way is down.
根系细胞里实际上含有微量细小珠状颗粒
Cells in the roots here actually contain tiny little bead-like particles,
不论重力将根系拉到哪边 这些微粒就会告诉它们该往哪边生长
wherever gravity pulls them, that tells the root which way to grow.
而嫩芽中的细胞同样有重力感应微粒
Cells in the shoot contain those same gravity sensing particles,
但在此处的细胞会释放出让植物朝着远离重力的方向生长的信号
but there, they signal the plant to grow away from gravity.
我们都见过植物向光生长
We’ve all seen plants bend towards light,
就像我们走路或开车去吃东西 植物会朝向光生长
while we walk or drive to get food, plants grow toward it.
这称之为生物的向光性
It’s called Phototropism.
这也是达尔文验证植物趋光生长
It was Darwin again who tested plants bending to the light.
如果剪掉植物的顶端 它们不会改变生长方向
If the tip of a seedling was cut off, the plant didn’t change direction.
顶端的分生细胞感知光线告诉其余植物应该做出什么反应
Cell’s in the growth tip sensed light and tell the rest of the plant how to grow in response.
植物也可以测量他们获得了多少光 或者叫做”光周期现象”
Plants can also measure how much light they get, or “Photoperiodism”.
这就是他们如何知晓季节变化的原因
Which is how they keep track of the seasons.
植物夜晚感知到的最后一束光是远红外光
The last light a plant sees at night is in the far red of the spectrum,
这种波长更长的光抑制植物感光素的活动
and this longer wavelength light inactivates a light-sensing molecule inside the plant,
而这些感光素直到第二天早上才再次被激活
that isn’t reactivated until the next morning.
植物受到偏橙色光束照射
When it’s hit by light that’s a little more orange,
它的光敏色素周期能判断夜晚有多久
this phytochrome cycle measures how much darkness there is,
当这种生物钟显示出白昼变长时
when this internal clock signals that the days are getting longer,
植物知道那是春天 夜晚变长就是秋天要来了
plants know that it’s spring, and longer nights mean autumn is on the way.
植物没有鼻子但它们能探测出空气中的化学信号
Plants don’t have noses, but they can detect chemical signals in the air,
这与我们闻气味没什么不同
which isn’t that different to what we do when we smell.
古埃及人在无花果树上剪一些树枝来催熟无花果
Ancient Egyptians would ripen their figs by cutting open a few in every bunch.
佛罗里达州的农民用煤油灯催熟橙子
Farmers in Florida used kerosene lamps to ripen oranges,
要让未熟的梨或牛油果变软就将其与熟透的香蕉一起放进纸袋中
and to soften an unripe peach or avocado we put it in a paper bag with a ripe banana.
这些小把戏之间有什么共通之处呢
But what do all these tricks have in common?
乙烯气体 植物催熟激素
“Ethylene Gas”, plant’s ripening hormone.
乙烯对食品店仓储很有用能帮助作物同步成熟
It’s nice for us at the grocery store, but ethylene helps plants by synchronizing ripening,
吸引饥饿的小动物携带种子帮助传播
to draw in hungry seed-dispersing animals.
乙烯是一种提醒树叶它们一年的工作已经完成的信号
It’s also one of the signals that tells leaves their job is done for the year.
这种奇怪的植物基本上忘记了如何进行光合作用
This weird plant basically forgot how to do photosynthesis,
但它从邻居那里窃取食物获得能量
but it gets by, by stealing food from its neighbors.
它甚至对于向哪些植物窃取能量还有偏好
It even has a preference for which plants it steals from.
幼苗生长的小窍门是嗅探空气中它们最喜欢食物
The tip of growing seedling sniffs the air seeking the smell of its favorite victim,
散发出来的味道并且忽略其它味道
a tomato plant and ignoring all the others.
当长出叶子时 它知道茎干要向下生长这样就能吃到好东西
When it finds a leaf it even knows to aim down for the stem so it can drink the good stuff.
某些植物利用空气邮件相互告知危险
Some plants use air mail to warn each other of danger.
当饥饿的毛毛虫出现 受伤的树叶会释放有挥发性的化学物质
When hungry caterpillars show up, injured leaves release volatile chemicals,
其它树叶嗅到那些信号后会合成有毒的化合物
and other leaves sniff out those signals and start making toxic compounds,
这样毛毛虫的食欲会大减
so, they’re less appetizing.
那些挥发性化学物质还会让其它植物产生更多的花蜜
In other plants those airbourne alarms tell the plant to pump out tasty nectar,
而这吸引吃甲虫的昆虫
which attracts beetle-eating insects.
附近的植物甚至能偷听到这些信息
Nearby plants can even eavesdrop on these signals,
在受到伤害之前加固它们的防御
toughening up their defenses before they get attacked.
我们的触觉有好几种
Our sense of touch is really several senses,
每一种由特殊类型的神经元上特殊神经末梢感知
each detected by specific receptors on specific types of nerves,
而这些信号最终由大脑加工处理
and those signals are eventually processed by the brain.
植物也能以相同的方式感知事物 它们只不过用了自己的方式
Plants can sense those same things, they just do it their own way.
藤本植物能够感知碰触到的物体
A vine can sense when it’s touching an object,
用信号通知细胞像弹簧那样变形卷曲
and signal special cells to change shape and coil around like a spring.
这种触感十分敏感
That sense of touch is incredibly sensitive,
单线螺纹细藤轻触黄瓜藤蔓的重量足以让其蜿蜒缠绕
the weight of a single thread brushed along a cucumber vine is enough to start it winding.
你如果用手指磨蹭这种植物的叶子 叶片会合起来
If you rub your finger along the leaves of this plant, they’ll fold up.
触感会传递化学信号急速穿过叶片
Touch sends an electrical signal shooting along the leaf,
激活小叶基部液压泵让叶片弯曲
activating tiny hydraulic pumps at the base of the leaflets, making the leaf go limp.
因为它这种害羞的习性 我们称之它为含羞草
Thanks to this shy habit, we call it the “Sensitive plant”.
下次你赏花闻香时
Next time that you stop to look and smell the flowers,
花点时间想一想植物也许在做相同的事
take a moment to consider that they might be doing the same thing.
保持好奇心
Stay curious.
噢 关于你听说植物和古典音乐之间联系的事
Oh, and that thing you heard about plants and classical music,
抱歉 它们是聋子
sorry, they’re deaf.
但是放点莫扎特音乐总不是件坏事
But, a little Mozart’s never a bad thing.
#莫扎特音乐#
# Mozart Plays #
你要是想知道更多有趣的植物科学
If you want some more cool plant science,
可以在心拓英启以及重口味科学找到这期超棒的集合
check out this awesome collaboration from our friends at Braincraft and Gross Science,
所有关于肉食植物的合集
all about carnivorous plants, that’s right,
吃肉的植物例如有捕蝇草 猪笼草
plants that eat stuff like venus fly traps, pitcher plants,
它们让觉得人害怕又有趣
it’s creepy and cool.

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植物和我们人一样会思考吗?它们是如何辨别方向知四季的呢?

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视频来源

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