Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
Did you know that plants can communicate with each other? The coolest story I've ever heard is about how thorn acacia plants in the African Savanna can protect themselves from herbivores. When a giraffe starts to chew on the leaves of a thorn acacia, the tree will react and start to produce more tannins in the leaves. You have probably tasted food with tannins in it- have you ever had plain black tea, coffee, or cocoa powder? These foods can be very bitter which is why many people add sugar to them. Part of why they are bitter is because they have tannins in them. Imagine the giraffe chewing on a tasty leaf, but when it moves to another branch the leaves begin to taste more and more bitter. The giraffe may not like the bitter tasting leaves, so it stops eating from that tree. The thorn acacia has successfully protected itself from the giraffe, and it also can send a warning to other acacias in the area that there is a hungry giraffe nearby! The thorn acacia that was chewed on releases a gas called ethylene that blows on the wind and encounters other thorn acacia trees. When these acacia trees have the ethylene hit the leaves, there is a signal that these leaves should produce more tannins and become bitter, too. I think that it's amazing that some trees can communicate about danger to other trees! Also, some acacias can convince ants to be bodyguards for them and defend the trees from herbivores- look up whistling thorn acacias and acacia ants!