from the urls-we-dig-up dept
People usually think of plants as deaf and dumb, but plants might be a bit smarter that we think. Sure, there have been science fair projects where plants grow and respond to music. But much more elaborate research has shown various plants can “hear” certain kinds of vibrations and react measurably. Here are just a few examples of plants listening to their environment.
- Researchers at the University of Missouri have detected plants creating more defensive chemicals when exposed to the sounds of caterpillars chewing. The scientists measured the tiny vibrations using laser reflections off leaves and noted that playing back other vibrations didn’t result in the plants synthesizing more defensive mustard oils. [url]
- Do plants really grow better in response to music? Mythbusters says it’s plausible, and a few other studies seem to support this idea. [url]
- Apparently, chili seedlings can detect who their neighbors are — and distinguish between “bad” neighbors such as fennel and “good” neighbors like basil. One proposal is that these plants can “hear” acoustic vibrations from adjacent plants… but that’s crazy, right? [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.