New research, published in the Journal Trends in Plant Science, has revealed that plants not only respond to sound, but they also communicate to each other by making “clicking” sounds.
Using powerful loudspeakers, researchers at The University of Western Australia were able to hear clicking sounds coming from the roots of corn saplings.
Researchers at Bristol University also found that when they suspended the young roots in water and played a continuous noise at 220Hz, a similar frequency to the plant clicks, they found that the plants grew towards the source of the sound.
“Everyone knows that plants react to light, and scientists also know that plants use volatile chemicals to communicate with each other, for instance, when danger – such as a herbivore – approaches,” Dr. Gagliano said in a university news release.
Scientists suspect that sound and vibration may play an essential role in the survival of plants by giving them information about the environment around them.
Researchers said sounds waves are easily transmissible through soil, and could be used to pick up threats like drought from their neighbors further away.
Gagliano said that the latest findings shows that the role of sound in plants has yet to be fully explored, “leaving serious gaps our current understanding of the sensory and communicatory complexity of these organisms”.