April 05, 2013

Bark Beetles Eavesdropping on Drought-Stressed Pine Trees

An article on how sound plays a part in plant-plant communication and plant-insect communication, not always beneficially from the plant's point of view.
And there is evidence that insects and plants "hear" each other's sounds. Bees buzz at just the right frequency to release pollen from tomatoes and other flowering plants. And bark beetles may pick up the air bubble pops inside a plant, a hint that trees are experiencing drought stress.
Implications for drought:
In the arid Southwest, [Duke University botantist Dan] Johnson was surprised to find that the plants considered the most drought-tolerant, such as junipers, did worst at repairing embolisms. Broad-leaf plants, including rhododendrons and beaked hazels, were better at fixing the damage caused by dry pipes.

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