The purpose of this conference is to look at plants with the aim of unveiling a more comprehensive meaning of their ways of communicating. Plants communicate by signaling to remote organs within an individual, eavesdropping on neighboring individuals, and exchanging information with other organisms ranging from other plants to microbes to animals. There is no agreed-upon definition of what constitutes communication for plants. And the various proposed definitions can make the reading of available literature rather confusing. The motivation behind this workshop stems from the need to examine plant communication from a variety of perspectives to find a consensus of what plant communication is, how it can be studied and interpreted. The topics that will be treated include the existence of plant-specific sensory systems and neurotransmitter-based cell-cell to manage stress adaptation; the emission of plant-plant signals into the rhizosphere and how other plants use these signals to detect their neighbors; the multiple communication levels in terms of plant-fungus signaling, where symbiotic and immune responses are in continuity, with relevant consequences for the ecological role and applicative perspectives of this symbiosis; the differences in volatile profiles (chemotypes) emitted among individuals within a population and among populations across the landscape. Finally, how plants selectively attend to stimuli in the environment for communicative purposes.

Facilitating the interdisciplinary dialogue is another main objective of the conference. We aim to establish a common glossary and theoretical framework for plant communication. Possibly times are mature to propose and agree on a shared definition of communication which applies to plants and also allows for a parallelism with other communication in other organisms, not excluding human language. In this conference, we aim at fostering interdisciplinary exchanges between biologists, plant physiologists, neuroscientists, ethologists, and psychologists to offer a comparative analysis of what plant communication really is. By bringing together leading figures working on plant communication, we hope to provide an interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of the basic mechanisms of organization and functioning of communication in the green kingdom.