Moon and Cosmos: Plant Growth and Plant Bioelectricity

  • Peter W. Barlow


Many of the growth movements of plants (diurnal leaf movements, and perhaps stem dilatation cycles) initiate action potentials which are propagated within the plant body. Action potentials are then able to serve as informational signals that regulate further processes. Some movements appear to be regulated by turning points in the time-courses of the lunisolar tidal accelerative force, when the rate of accelerative change is zero. There are, in addition, other more constitutive bioelectrical phenomena in plants, such as electrical potential differences. These, also, are critically examined in relation to the lunisolar tide. Because of its ever-present nature, it is difficult to analyse experimentally effects of this lunisolar tide on organic processes; nevertheless, it may be possible to take steps towards validating the Moon’s effect. This would take advantage of the predictability of the tidal acceleration profile and, hence, experiments could be devised to anticipate possible lunisolar tidal effects on biological events. Certain additional cosmic regulators of bioelectric patterns in plants, such as geomagnetic variations are also discussed, as are the effects of natural seismic events.


Electrical Potential Electrical Potential Difference Atmospheric Electricity Lunar Phase Leaf Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I am grateful to Professor E Klingelé for the gift of the Etide program, to Professor M Mikulecký for analysing the Polar Cap (Thule) Index time-course in Fig. 10.6, to Dr Olga V Khabarova for information about solar wind-magnetosphere interactions, to Professor E Zürcher for helpful remarks, and to Mr Timothy Colborn who expertly prepared the Figures. Data relating to water volume fraction (Fig. 10.11) were kindly provided by Dr JP Sparks and Professor MJ Canny.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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