Biocommunication (science)

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Not to be confused with Biocommunication (paranormal) .

In the study of the biological sciences the general term biocommunication is used to describe more specific types of communication within (intraspecific) or between (interspecific) species of plants,[1] animals, fungi and microorganisms.[2] Communication means sign-mediated interactions following syntactic, pragmatic and semantic rules. Signs in most cases are chemical molecules (semiochemicals). Biocommunication of animals[3] may include mechanisms as vocalizations (as between competing bird species), pheromone production (as between various species of insects),[4] chemical signals between plants and animals (as in tannin production used by vascular plants to warn away insects), and chemically mediated communication between plants[5][6] and within plants. Biocommunication of fungi demonstrates that mycelia communication integrates crossspecific sign-mediated interactions between fungal organisms soil bacteria and plant root cells without which plant nutrition could not be organized.[7]

Biocommunication and Linguistics[edit]

In the study of linguistics, abstract biocommunication theory may be considered to be a form of biosemiotics, and a subdiscipline of semiotic theory. Accordingly, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of biocommunication processes are distinguished.[8] Biocommunication specific to animals (animal communication) is considered a branch of zoosemiotics.[9] The semiotic study of molecular genetics, can be considered a study of biocommunication at its most basic level.[10]

The scientific study of biocommunication as a subfield of semiotics has been introduced by Thomas A. Sebeok, and currently developed by the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies although they never used the term biocommunication.


  1. ^ Witzany G, Baluska F (2012). (eds). Biocommunication of Plants. Springer. ISBN 978-3-642-23523-8.
  2. ^ Witzany, G (2011). (ed). Biocommunication in Soil Microorganisms. Springer. ISBN 978-3-642-14511-7.
  3. ^ Witzany, Guenther (2014). Biocommunication of Animals. Dortrecht: Springer.
  4. ^ Ananthakrishnan, T (1998). Biocommunication in Insects. Science Publishers Inc. p. 104. ISBN 1-57808-031-2. 
  5. ^ Taiz, Lincoln; Eduardo Zeiger (2002). "Plant Physiology Online" (HTTP). a companion to Plant Physiology, Third Edition. Sinauer Associates. Archived from the original on December 7, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-26. 
  6. ^ Farmer, EE; CA Ryan (1990). "Interplant Communication: Airborne Methyl Jasmonate Induces Synthesis of Proteinase Inhibitors in Plant Leaves". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (National Academy of Sciences USA) 87 (19): 7713–7716. doi:10.1073/pnas.87.19.7713. PMC 54818. PMID 11607107. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 
  7. ^ Witzany, G (2012) (ed). Biocommunication of Fungi. Springer, Dortrecht.
  8. ^ Tembrock, Günter 1971. Biokommunikation: Informationsübertragung im biologischen Bereich. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.
  9. ^ Sebeok, Thomas (ed.) 1977. How Animals Communicate. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  10. ^ Emmeche, Claus; Jesper Hoffmeyer (1991). "From Language to Nature - the semiotic metaphor in biology". Semiotica 84 (1/2): 1-42, 1991. Archived from the original on October 14, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 

See also[edit]