April 23, 2024 1:57 pm
Researchers Record Plants Emitting “Sounds” When Uprooted in Groundbreaking Discovery

A research team from Tel Aviv University in Israel has discovered that plants produce sounds in ultrasonic frequencies, outside the range of human hearing. These sounds, described as a polling or clicking noise, increase when the plant is under stress. Lilach Hadany, an evolutionary biologist at the university, explained that plants interact with insects and other animals on a regular basis and use sound for communication. The team wanted to investigate whether plants produce sounds when they are stressed in addition to the other visible changes they experience when under duress.

The scientists recorded tomato and tobacco plants in stressed and unstressed conditions, using their definition of stress to include instances where plants had their stems cut or were dehydrated. They found that distressed plants emitted high-pitched sounds that were undetectable by humans but could be heard within a radius of over a meter. Unstressed plants did not produce much noise at all; they remained quiet and continued with their usual activities.

The exact mechanism through which plants produce these noises is still unknown, but this study sheds light on an intriguing aspect of plant biology and opens up new possibilities for understanding the ways in which plants communicate with their environment.

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