Stressed Plants Make Ultrasonic Clicking Noises: Study

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Weather extremes are putting plants under stress. A new study shows they might be trying to communicate that through sound.

The study, published in the science journal Cell, showcases the airborne sounds emitted by tomato and tobacco plants inside an acoustic chamber.

Through the sounds, researchers were able to determine the dehydration level and injury based solely on that sound.

"The columns of water, which are stretched in a plant kind of like a rubber band, stretch so much like the rubber band that it breaks and the breaking of a column of water or breaking of a rubber band is what makes the clicking noise, what makes that sound," said Lewis Feldman, a professor of plant biology at UC Berkeley. "Technically it's called an embolism or cavitation. Those are the two terms that plant physiologists use to describe when that water column breaks and when you hear the clicking noise."

NBC Bay Area's Vianey Arana has more in the video report above.

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