Incredible but true. Even trees go to sleep. It’s what a recent study tells us, which showed how the Petula Bendula (or silver birch) “curls up” to sleep, thanks to the geometrical movements of its crown and branches.
If the phenomenon of chlorophyll photosynthesis, the process which, by virtue of the presence or absence of light, enables trees to produce oxygen or carbon dioxide, was already well known, studies like these shed new light on the complexity of the plant kingdom.
Trees too, therefore, would seem to have their own sleep/wake cycle, and that makes them a lot more like human beings than we might have ever thought.
In recent years, botanic researchers have made huge steps forward in understanding the mechanisms and characteristics of the most widespread form of life (or “existence”, if you’d like) on the planet. Among them is the brilliant Professor Stefano Mancuso, who in the role of propagator, as well as scientist, is spreading a sense of wonder and curiosity towards the plant kingdom. Professor Mancuso told journalist Loredana Matonti about the manipulation strategies that acacia trees in Africa and Northern America apply to certain animal species. “Acacia trees behave as skilled drug-dealers. They attract ants with the bait of their sweet nectar rich in alkaloids and, once they have them hooked, they control their behavior. For example, by increasing their aggressiveness or mobility on the plant, simply by regulating the amount and quality of the neuroactive substances contained in the nectar. Not bad for a form of life that we continue to perceive as helpless and passive but which, precisely because it is rooted in the ground, has made its ability to manipulate animals through chemistry, a true form of art”.
If even plants need to doze off now and then, well… there can be no doubt about it: it’s time to purchase a Magniflex mattress!