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This is what a plant sounds like when it’s stressed

A person’s hand holds a couple small red tomatoes on a dry vine.
A gardener facing water shortages checks his tomato plants in southern France in August 2022. | Image: PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images

New research challenges assumptions that the plant kingdom is silent. Turns out, plants make a lot of noise when they’re stressed.

Other plants and animals might even be able to interpret those sounds. And the ability to listen in could even help humans get smarter about the way we grow our crops, especially in a world where climate change is increasingly stressing us all out.

“Even in a quiet field, there are actually sounds that we don’t hear, and those sounds carry information,” Lilach Hadany, senior author of the paper and an evolutionary biologist and theoretician at Tel Aviv University, says in a press release.

Tomato and…

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