A team of researchers from Tel Aviv University have discovered that plants emit an ultrasonic scream when their stems are cut or if they have not been watered enough. The research was picked up the Daily Mail and published on December 9th.
Here is a link to the article: Plants Feel Pain Too!
Here are a few excerpts from the article:
The researchers tested tomato plants and tobacco plants by depriving them of water and by cutting their stems and then recording their response with a microphone placed ten centimeters away.
In both cases, they found the plants began to emit ultrasonic sounds between 20 and 100 kilohertz, which they believed could convey their distress to other plants and organisms in the immediate vicinity.
When the researchers deprived each plant of water, the tomato plants emitted even more distress sounds, 35 in one hour, while the tobacco plants made 11.
The plants also seemed to respond with different intensities of sound to different sources of stress.
The team observed that tobacco plants let out a louder sound when they were deprived of water than when they had their stems cut.
Plants that had no immediate environmental threat or damage, released less than one ultrasonic sounds per hour.
The team believes that listening for different types of sound emitted by plants could help with precision agriculture and allow farmers to identify potential problems with the crops with less guess work.
Last year, another study found that some plants registered ‘pain’ after having their leaves plucked or even touched, which caused the release of a foul tasting chemical across their leaves, believed to ward off insects.
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