Plants Warn Each Other: Study

By Jess Kilby,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2009 7:11 AM CDT
Plants Warn Each Other: Study
New research suggests that plants communicate with each other using complex chemical signals.   (Flickr)

They can't quite tweet, but plants have sophisticated means of communication nonetheless, reports the Telegraph. A new study suggests they use complex chemical signals to discuss both predators and pollinators. In one test, sagebrush shrubs whose neighbors had their leaves clipped, as if by grasshoppers, appeared to grow more resilient, suggesting they'd been warned.

"Plants not only respond to reliable cues in their environments but also produce cues that communicate with other plants and with other organisms," said the study’s co-author. Another recent study indicated that tomato plants respond to the human voice, vindicating a beleaguered Prince Charles—who was widely mocked for decades after advising that gardeners should talk to their plants. (More plants stories.)

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