The plant ecologist Katja Tielbörger from Tubingen University, our partner in Plants_Intelligences project, points out that according to David Stenhouse (1974) and Anthony Trewavas (2003) these processes, which clearly refer to evolution, seemingly could be considered intelligent - as they make plants more adapted to their environment - but they are not. According to Katja who refers to nature scientist views (e.g. Trewavas) the “intelligent behavior” by plants shows rather during the individual life time scale, and that this individual plant response to the environmental change in ecology and evolution studies is called “plasticity”. (Katja Tielbörger, in Plants_Intelligences Team conversation, November 29, 2022).

Katja Tielbörger and her research team from Tübingen University have performed unique experiments on “decision-making in plants” studying how “plants can plastically respond to light competition” (Gruntman, Groß, Májeková, Tielbörger, 2017). These experiments were performed using the methods of Anthony Trewavas, molecular biologist and plant physiologist studying plant behavior, who suggests that the notion of plant intelligence is closer to animal intelligence and therefore should not be compared to human intelligence. In close accordance with Trewavas' proposed “instructions” for experimentation with "learning" and "decision-making” in animals, but applying these methods to plants, Katja carried out experiments which led to the following conclusions that

“plants are capable of acquiring and integrating complex information about their environment in order to adaptively modify their extent of plastic responses”.

As a part of my “Flower as an Antenna” research, I will be carrying out “light sensing” experiments with living plants following Katja's approach on plant's “plasticity” study focusing on learning and decision making. I will repeat this with artistic modifications, focusing in particular on experiments on plant competition for light, as well as developing my own set-up in different geo-graphical locations to investigate the effects of different day/night lengths in order to understand plant plasticity as an intelligent behaviour in response to light.