What if I told you that right now, your favorite plant is? What could plants possibly say to each other all kinds of things like help or less or let get off or my fruits are ripe and these messages aren't just being sent by the big plants like trees it little patches of moss can get quite chatty ah.
By the way if you've ever taken a whiff of freshly cut grass you've actually been communicating with a plant plants are just as complex as people. For example a recent study found that many different types of plants actually make sounds that are too high pitched for us humans to hear this is how they talk to each other when they're feeling stressed out, but it's not just about stress plants have been communicating with all kinds of creatures from predators to pollinators but why should we try to overhear then plants it could actually help us solve some of the biggest problems facing our planet.
Today as our population continues to grow and the climate changes we need to find ways to grow more food on less landnand the plant communication might be the key here's the thing plants don't communicate the same way we do they don't have a nervous system so they can't send signals back and forth like us instead it's more like they're using a complex network of pipes and tubes to move information around it looks more like Plumbing than anything else, for example if a leaf detects a predator or a change in lighter sound it sends a signal to the rest of the plant roots on the other hand can detect drought and send a signal to the leaves to conserve water electrical signals are traveling along the plant through a complex system of tubes with chemicals inside.
But here's the most interesting part we can actually observe this electrical communication by putting electrodes on different parts of the plant and there are even instruments out there that can translate these electric charges into sounds that we can hear so if a plant gets wounded we can actually hear the electrical signals coming out of that wound and if two individual plants are touching they can even transmit these signals to each other and it's not just about detecting changes in the environment.
Let's take an example of venus fly traps and sensitive plants like mimosa-putica they use electrical signals whenever they are touched when this happens they send out a signal that triggers their unique response A hormone called auxin is produced at the top of a plant and travels downward, letting the plant know which way is up.
This is crucial for a sprout trying to break through the soil's surface and get some sunlight, but it's not just about growth and development. The Venus fly trap closes its mouth to trap its prey while the sensitive plant moves to shake off insects. Imagine wandering in the woods and hearing a tree cry "ow" in the distance; that would be unsettling. Danger mice can sort of hear it, while insects can smell the chemical signals being sent out.
Although I've already established that plants can make actual sounds, we're not precisely clear if these signals are being produced on purpose or simply as a result of the plant's response. Let's discuss it Recent studies have revealed that plants can communicate through ultrasonic sounds when they're under stress. A range of plant species, including cactus and tomatoes, make these sounds, which can be picked up by microphones sensitive to bat cries. Without any special equipment, insects and animals may even hear these sounds, which sound more like pops. Although we may not be able to hear it, scientists are leveraging this discovery to develop new, non-harmful methods for diagnosing, treating, and monitoring plants.
Chemical communication between plants is possible. When grass is chopped, a scent that serves as a distress signal for the plant also serves as a pleasant reminder of the great outdoors. this odor is also released when a plant is eaten by a caterpillar and it can attract other bugs that will prey on the caterpillar these scents are called volatiles and they can travel far and wide both above and below ground each plant species has its unique blend of volatiles in Plants volatile compounds are chemicals with various purposes they have the power to attract pollinators to flowers lead them towards unpollinated ones and invite seed .
Distributors towards fruits also they can discourage and keep Predators away from eating plants these volatiles are emitted from leaves and when they reach a certain concentration they intoxicate and irritate Additionally, nearby plants can pick up on these chemical signals and begin to get ready to defend themselves against potential predators.
Plants also have a unique way of identifying their relatives and other members of their community. For instance, when plants see their own offspring, they change their behavior to support them rather than compete with them for resources. The mutually beneficial relationship between plants and fungi is known as a symbiotic relationship or mutualism in forests. In particular, plants release volatiles underground to signal fungi, which can then wrap around the root and gather nutrients for the plant in exchange for the sugar the plant produced through photosynthesis.
When fungi meet the roots of trees, an interesting exchange occurs in which bits of small RNA that can alter the genetic response in the other organism are exchanged. If the fungus is a friend, this signals to the plant that it can be trusted and aids in the plant's growth. Trees have relationships with many different fungi, and each fungus has relationships with multiple trees. These relationships form a mycorrhizal network, or literally fungus root network, where fungi connect.
The oldest and largest trees in a forest are frequently the ones that serve as nurse trees, giving support and nutrients to younger, weaker trees. However, it's not just fungi that are important to plants below ground; there are also a variety of microbes that aid plants in growing and warding off disease. These small organisms bind to plant roots, creating a sticky biofilm that is teeming with beneficial bacteria that can improve plant nutrient uptake or even strengthen plant defenses against disease.
That's all for today, so hey if you satisfied your curiosity then give the video a like and share it with your friends or if you didn't, then don't worry about it. Scientists are still learning about the fascinating world of plant microbe interactions, and there is still much to discover. However, as we continue to study these relationships we might discover new ways to improve soil health and help plants thrive in even the harshest conditions.