The staghorn fern growing in your living room may be the first known eusocial plant species

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>Ferns growing at the top of a colony have upright strap fronds, shaped like rain gutters that channel water and nutrients into the core of the group >Eusociality typically requires two other conditions. One is overlapping generations, meaning one generation co-occurs with the next. The other is cooperative brood care, meaning collectively feeding and supporting offspring through division of labor. Isn’t all of that basically what trees do in (healthy) forests via the mycorrhizal network, supporting offspring with water and nutrients aswell as sharing various informations (e.g. about diseases) within the network ?

Thyriel81

Damn dog, so my plants are more social than I am.

Anthem2243

The article says eusociality is known only in animals. I thought I had heard some protists do this when reproducing, but can’t remember all the group(s). Something like many individuals come together to form a fruiting body and most all get to spoilage, but some minority sacrifice themselves to form the stalk. Is this too different to count as the same phenomenon?

sagan_drinks_cosmos

Sounds like the expression of morphological differences due to light interception based on canopy height. Common with many other species.

simyjoe

Vegans aren’t going to be able to eat anything at this rate

Ck1ngK1LLER