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Research has shown that plants respond to sound on a morphological as well as a physiological level. Plants also produce sound, and recent research shows that this sound is airborne and carries information about the plant's identity and conditions. However, most research into plants' responses to sound uses human-generated sounds, and therefore cannot give us insight into an evolutionary benefit of these responses. To my knowledge, there has also been no research to this point into whether plants respond to the sounds of conspecifics. In this paper, I attempt to begin filling in this knowledge gap. I recorded the sounds of drought-stressed and unstressed tomato plants, and played them to conspecifics. I determined whether there was a difference in biomass in those that were exposed to recordings of stressed plants, and those that were exposed to recordings of unstressed plants. I also asked whether plants that were subsequently exposed to drought stress would have a difference in biomass after the stress period to test if being exposed to the recordings of stressed plants had allowed those plants to prepare defenses against drought stress. I did not find any statistically significant results, but the methods that I used were novel and could be applied to further research.
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Olip-Booth, Scout R., "Hello, are you there? We have a weak signal- Investigating the possibility of ultrasound-mediated communication in plants" (2023). Senior Projects Fall 2023. 43.
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