This is what a very thirsty plant looks like from a meter away

about the episode

This may sound like someone is sending Morse code by pressing bubble wrap, but it’s a thirsty and unhappy plant.

This is not the first time that the ability of plants to produce sounds has been discovered, but it was shown for the first time that this sound can still be heard at a distance of one meter from the plant and what the sounds say about the health of the plant. the plant.

A research team from Israel discovered this during experiments with tomato and tobacco plants. While the sound equipment watched the plants closely, they were deliberately made unhappy by either not watering them for several days or by cutting them down. Then they learned an algorithm to distinguish between the sounds of both types of plants and between recordings of healthy plants, thirsty plants and damaged plants.

For example, they heard that stressed plants make much more noise, about 30 to 50 clicks per hour. And those thirsty plants start making noises before becoming visibly drier, with clicks peaking after 5 days without water. Then the sound diminished again, until the plant was completely dry and could no longer make a sound.

Exactly how and why plants produce sound remains unclear, but plenty of plants do, suggesting it must have a function. We also know that plants respond to sound, so they may tell other plants what problems to expect. It can also be a signal from which insects or other animals get important information.

Can we also use this to help plants? Yes, researchers certainly see agricultural applications for this. But you need some equipment for that, we humans don’t usually hear it. Unless, as is the case here, the frequency has been lowered.

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Read more about research here: Stressed plants make airborne sounds that can be detected from more than a meter away.

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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