Small Sounds

hoef caterpillar

Many scientific reports show inexplicable behaviours of plants that seem to be analogs to animal senses, behaviours, and perhaps even intellect.

This observation of complex behaviour in plants would seem to be impossible given the fact that plants don’t have the diversification of their bodies and biology into sensory organs, nervous systems, and brains, but the facts remain.

“Plants certainly have the capacity to feel mechanical loads,” said plant biologist Frank Telewski, who was not involved in the research. “They can respond to gravity, wind, ice or an abundance of fruit.”

Now, researchers at the University of Missouri, in a collaboration that brings together audio and chemical analysis, have proven that plants hear sounds.

“Previous research has investigated how plants respond to acoustic energy, including music,” said Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Division of Plant Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the Bond Life Sciences Center at MU.
When pure tones are played, some experiments have seen changes in plant growth, germination or gene expression. For instance, one recent study showed that young roots of corn will grow toward an auditory source playing continuous tones and even responded better to certain frequencies.

“However, our work is the first example of how plants respond to an ecologically relevant vibration. We found that feeding sounds of caterpillars attacking plants signal changes in the plant cells’ metabolism, creating more defensive chemicals that can repel attacks from caterpillars.”

It is similar to how our own immune systems work — an initial experience with insects or bacteria can help plants defend themselves better in future attacks by the same predator. So while a mustard plant might not respond the first time it encounters a hungry caterpillar, the next time it will.

A deeper investigation could lead to advances in agriculture and natural crop resistance — and we could avoid harmful pesticides.

“What is remarkable is that the plants exposed to different vibrations, including those made by a gentle wind or different insect sounds that share some acoustic features with caterpillar feeding vibrations did not increase their chemical defenses,” Cocroft said. “This indicates that the plants are able to distinguish feeding vibrations from other common sources of environmental vibration.”

“Both animal and vegetable has in common a billion years of evolution. Just why we insist on believing that only certain animal life found sentience a useful evolutionary path is beyond me. This thing we like to think of as our unique sentience is in fact not at all unique rather it is just the opposite.
We are not alone.”
Russ George

http://russgeorge.net/2014/07/01/plants-hear-sounds/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/can-plants-hear-study-finds-that-vibrations-prompt-some-to-boost-their-defenses/2014/07/06/8b2455ca-02e8-11e4-8fd0-3a663dfa68ac_story.html

 

Herbal Intelligence
What Plants Perceive
The Knowledge of Vegetables
Trees Cry Out

 

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yes!


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