Ep. 148 - Cecropia Trees, Ant Bodyguards, and Collective Personality

Plants, being sessile organisms, must go to great lengths to protect themselves from herbivores. Sometimes this takes the form of spines or thorns, sometimes its nasty chemicals, and sometimes it means recruiting ants as bodyguards. Peter Marting is my guest today and he studies how one group of tropical trees in the genus Cecropia recruits and houses ants and how the interaction between these two different organisms influences the collective personality of the ant colonies. This episode was produced in part by Tim, Lisa, Susanna, Homestead Brooklyn, Daniella, Brodie, Kevin, Katherina, Sami & Sven, Sophia, Plant by Design, Mark, Rens, Mountain Misery Farms, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Clifton, Shane, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, Sienna & Garth, Troy, and Margie.

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Music by Moneycat

Ep. 123 - Legumes and Their Nitrogen-Fixing Partners

Many of us are aware that planting legumes helps enrich soils but how do they do this? By partnering with bacteria, of course! My guest today studies how this mutualistic relationship evolved and how it is maintained throughout various lineages. Dr. Katy Heath is a plant person at heart and she brings that passion with her to her lab as she tries to understand these evolutionary processes. Join us for a fascinating discussion about this system. This episode was produced in part by Allan, Clifton, Katherina, Shane, Amy, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, Christopher, Sienna and Garth, Margie, Laura, and Mark.

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Music by Monecat