The circle on the vegan propaganda is tightening, as more and more reports suggest how plants are at par with animals consciousness and pain reaction. A study in Germany showed how plants also send electrical signals in response to danger and induction of pain, and now another study conducted at the University of Bonn suggests that that plants can hear themselves being eaten and send out sounds in response.
The proof of “talking” plants was discovered by researchers as they used their highly sensitive microphones to pick up sounds from a plant ranging from a low bubbling sound to a screech. The change in volume was observed in healthy, living plants, which sent out increasingly louder sounds as they faced threats like insect bites.
Another research by the University of Missouri suggests how plants can react to the sound of a nearby plant under threat, by let’s say a caterpillar. This was proved via an experiment showing plants trying to ward off caterpillars by spewing mustard oils, an insect repellent, to ward off the caterpillars.
Heidi Appel, a 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 the University of Missouri commented on the findings,
‘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.
‘However, our work is the first example of how plants respond to an ecologically relevant vibration.’
‘We found that “feeding vibrations” signal changes in the plant cells’ metabolism, creating more defensive chemicals that can repel attacks from caterpillars.”
Appel will now focus on the mechanism behind the sensing of vibrations by the plants, along with figuring out what parts of the signals are important and how the plants interact with each other to create protective responses to pests.
‘Plants have many ways to detect insect attack, but feeding vibrations are likely the fastest way for distant parts of the plant to perceive the attack and begin to increase their defenses,’ Cocroft said
‘Caterpillars react to this chemical defense by crawling away, so using vibrations to enhance plant defenses could be useful to agriculture,’ Appel said.
‘This research also opens the window of plant behavior a little wider, showing that plants have many of the same responses to outside influences that animals do, even though the responses look different.’
The study, ‘Plants respond to leaf vibrations caused by insect herbivore chewing,’ was published in Oecologia and funded by the National Science Foundation.