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New plantBRUTALITY YouTube channel exposes nature’s savage side

Some might call it weird science, others, simply fascinating. Whatever your view, plantBRUTALITY will definitely unearth thought-provoking ideas about the brutal side of plant life.

Launched by Georgia Southern University’s Forest Ecohydrology Research Lab, along with international collaborators, plantBRUTALITY is a new YouTube channel created to introduce viewers to the lesser-known, savage side of the plant kingdom. The plantBRUTALITY channel supports student research in plant science and collaborations with student artists to creatively communicate new scientific stories.

One thing is for sure, being a plant isn’t easy. Sunny depictions of flower gardens and lush forests barely scratch the surface of this survival-of-the-fittest environment.

John Van Stan, Ph.D., associate professor of geography at Georgia Southern describes it as the, “clever brutality of plant behavior.” Plants, clever? PlantBRUTALITY will show plants in a whole new light.

“Issues in plant sciences receive far less public attention and interest than those regarding animal sciences,” he explained. “plantBRUTALITY hopes to enhance public interest in plant sciences by providing a fuller depiction of how dynamic and difficult life as a plant truly is.”

Just how brutal can a plant be? Root systems quietly, yet powerfully, crack and destroy asphalt, concrete and even solid stone. Trees tower over enemies, or undergrowth, choking out the radiant life-source of the sun.

The environment can be brutal on plants too. Even a peaceful rain when mixed with a tree’s stored salts from the air can ultimately destroy microbial neighbors found deep within a plant’s root system.

“By sharing scientific stories, we can forge a better understanding and appreciation of the organisms on which our global air, water, soil and food systems depend,” stated Van Stan. “And, as humankind continues to inflict its own brutal practices upon our planet, maybe, just maybe, a deeper our understanding of how plants survive will make us more effective at strengthening their defenses.”

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 27,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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