We always considered plants to be our silent partners in this world of noise and sound. But wait a minute! According to a new study from Western Australia plants have been talking all along. The study shows remarkable new evidence that suggests they are neither deaf nor dumb; rather along with their feelings and reactions they produce a series of ‘click’ sounds from their roots to communicate with each other.
Researcher Monica Gagliano, who discovered that plants can talk is of the opinion that their communication is essential for the survival of the inter-flora community. Gagliano along with professor Stefano Muncaso of the University of Florence decided to undertake the study of seeing if plants could talk. They studied a young bunch of corn plants and eavesdropped on their roots. The things that they discovered was remarkable, i.e., the plants emit sounds regularly that is audible to the human ear, as the range is of 220Hz.
Since it was already a known fact that plants react to sunlight and use chemicals to communicate with each other in case of danger, Gagliano and Muncaso conducted a test. To the corn plants, they were studying the researcher introduced another new specimen of corn plants that were suspended in water. After a few days they found that towards the talking plants the listening plants were leaning.
What do Plants Talk To Each Other About?
There are many things they discuss and it is interesting and it has been found that they competitive too. Here are some things that the plants talk to each other about:
Increase your growth: Study has shown that plants secrete chemicals in the soil when planted in a crowded environment signaling the neighboring plants to grow aggressively so that they are not left behind in the shade.
Canopy shyness: It has been witnessed that plants alter their growth strategy when leaves and branches of one plant brush against another plant. Matured and older plants restraint their growth in such a condition experiencing ‘canopy shyness’ while the younger ones spurt their growth and expand rapidly.
They pick up cues: A study has shown that a plant boosts its growth in a stressed environment and leaves its chemical reaction behind informing its next generation. The study planted a new plant in the same soil after removing the original plant that was under stress and despite removing the stressor the new plant shows the same growth pattern. A plant that has not been grown in the stressed environment does not show that growth spurt.
W-waves: Plants warn each other about impending chopping down to its neighbor by emitting electric pulses called W waves.
Warning about aphid attacks: Plants also warn one another with fungi that is thread-line filament connecting the roots about possible aphid attacks.
Plants have a complex communication system that researchers and scientists are learning about in the recent times. According to Gagliano, they are like animals but their communication becomes more interesting because they cannot move. Scientists hope that with time and their eavesdropping they get to learn more about what the plants talk about and how we can communicate with them.