I honestly thought we would breeze through this, since it is a rather technical paper. But in the end, it provided much more food for thought about the language of plants.
This paper explores how plants communicate with each other and with insects through biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs). The authors discuss how different types of BVOCs create the individual syllables of language, which can then be put together to form words and phrases.
Interestingly, within the plumes, plants were found to no only transmit basic information that could be picked up by other organisms, such as insects and herbivores, but also location and identity. What else could plants be hiding within these long chemical signatures? And how could kin be using them to transmit other information today beyond the reach of human perception?
This paper is a fascinating and comprehensive overview of the emerging field of plant language, which reveals the hidden complexity and diversity of plant interactions with their geographical ecosystems.
Topics Covered about language of plants:
- How plants communicate with themselves, each other, and with others
- Plant chemicals can trigger different responses in receivers
- How else could this “language” be used by plants
Commentary on the language of plants in the Naturally Conscious Community:
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Episodes related to effects of sound waves
View the paper here
Šimpraga, Maja, Junji Takabayashi, and Jarmo K. Holopainen. “Language of plants: where is the word?.” Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 58.4 (2016): 343-349.
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