Miguel Segundo-Ortin and Paco Calvo, Plant sentience? Between romanticism and denial: Science


Plant sentience is a hot topic in scientific and popular media. There are moral reasons to respect both the service of plants to humanity and their natural integrity as creatures playing their own significant role in a complex ecosystem. However, to infer that plants have certain cognitive capacities that are present also in certain human and nonhuman animals calls for scientific rigor beyond mere analogy. The unique capacities of plants identified by Segundo-Ortin & Calvo are not necessarily linked to sentience. Nor is it likely that sentience is an evolutionary trait that is present to some extent in all living organisms.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Author Biography

Paul C. Struik is emeritus professor of crop physiology at the Centre for Crop Systems Analysis of Wageningen University & Research. He was responsible for teaching in agronomy and crop science and led a research team focusing on C3 and C4 photosynthesis, crop modelling, nutrient management, and seed systems. Website