Do Plants Communicate with Themselves? - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.
Are plants capable of communicating with each other?
New studies from scientists at Bristol University and Exeter University have shown that indeed plants do have diverse ways of communicating.
By using loud speakers to listen to young corn stalks, the researcher at Bristol discovered that the root systems make small clicking noises. Biology professor at Bristol, Daniel Robert said, “These very noisy little clicks have the potential to constitute a channel of communication between the roots.” Sound and vibrations can travel through soil, which makes the clicking noises capable of affecting nearby plants.
In a similar study done by Exeter University, researchers have discovered that cabbage plants release a particular gas when their leaves have been damaged.
This caused cabbage plants around it to produce a toxic chemical on its leaves to ward off caterpillars and other predators.
The study was led by Professor Nick Smirnoff who said, “They could have been trying to alert the plant’s other leaves to the damage and their neighbors have just picked it up, or they for some reason evolved to alert other plants. It is not clear why that would be beneficial as you would think plants would be in competition with each other.”