Plants 'scream' when stressed out, study finds
December 8, 2019 | 12 comments
It seems that plants have a way of expressing their discomfort. Image Credit: sxc.hu
Scientists have discovered that plants emit ultrasonic 'squeals' when stressed due to drought or damage.
What sound does a plant make ? It's a question that might seem ridiculous, but now according to a new study, the idea that plants emit sound may not be that far-fetched after all.
Researchers at Israel's Tel Aviv University were recently able to record these ultrasonic 'squeals' by placing special microphones next to tomato and tobacco plants.
Remarkably, they reported picking up the sounds, which fell within the range of 20 to 100 kilohertz, up to 10cm away from the plant. It has also been speculated that some plants and animals may even be able to detect these sounds up to several meters away.
Scientists believe that these sounds are produced by the plant during times of stress, such as when there is a drought or when the plant has sustained physical damage.
Different causes of stress also seemed to cause the plants to produce sounds at differing rates.
The researchers found that computer software could even tell different plants apart from these sounds.
"Sounds that drought-stressed plants make could be used in precision agriculture if it is not too costly to set up the recording in a field situation," said biologist Anne Visscher.
Further research will be needed however to determine the feasibility of this concept.
Source: Live Science
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