[Plant-education] Re: effect of noise pollution on metabolism of plants

David R. Hershey via plant-ed%40net.bio.net (by dh321 At excite.com)
Sat Dec 30 12:56:31 EST 2006

There was some research on effects of sound on plant growth (Hageseth
1974 and its citations) but seemingly not much recently (Creath and
Schwartz 2004). Very loud noise may affect plant growth indirectly
because it produces vibrations that shake the plants.
Seismomorphogenesis is the term for shaking effects on plant growth,
which mainly reduces stem elongation and increases stem diameter.
Telewski (2006) recently discussed the possible mechanoperception
system in plants.

The effects of sound, and especially music, on plant growth gained a
reputation as pseudoscientific partly because it was featured in the
bestselling pseudoscientific book, The Secret Life of Plants. Also,
some of the research was and is conducted by nonbotanists and published
in nonbotanical journals, such as The Journal of Alternative and
Complementary Medicine (Creath and Schwartz 2004).

Trees and shrubs are often used to reduce noise pollution. Creath and
Schwartz (2004) mentioned that plants along freeways often grow
differently than plants in quieter environments. However, plants beside
freeways are subjected to multiple stresses such as air pollutants,
wind from speeding vehicles, deicing salts, soil compaction, poor soil,
heat from asphalt surface, etc. It is unwise to attribute any
differences in plant growth to noise alone.


Creath, K. and Schwartz, G.E. 2004. Measuring effects of music, noise
and healing energy using a seed germination bioassay. The Journal of
Alternative and Complementary Medicine 10: 113-122.</a>

Hageseth, G.T. 1974. Effect of Noise on the Mathematical Parameters
that Describe Isothermal Seed Germination Plant Physiology 53:641-643.

Telewski, F. W. 2006. A unified hypothesis of mechanoperception in
plants. American Journal of Botany. 93: 1466-1476.

Sidram wrote:
> Dear Dr. Siddiqi,
> I am a postgraduate in Genetics and Plant Breeding from India. Here I
> have come across some popular articles in News Papers concerning the
> "Effect of Music on the Milching Cows". Though this issue has not been
> mined scientifically, few farmers have experienced increased milk yield
> when a music was played while milking the cows while the same cows
> yielded low when no music. This shows that there must be some changes
> (physiological/metabolism/chemistry) that takes place in the presence
> of music/specific sound wavelength... The same might be true in the
> plant system as wel.. since, at cellular level, all the components/cell
> organelles and other features present in animal cell are present in the
> plant cell as wel.. Hence, the work being investigated by your friend
> might crop-up some exciting and usefull findings..
> Regards
> Sidram
> Dr. M. Rehan Siddiqi wrote:
> > A friend of mine is involved in some research work to see the effect of noise pollution on the metabolism of plants. I thoght noise pollution and music have no effect on the chemistry of plants. Please tell me about the recent findings on this subject.
> >   M. Rehan Siddiqi

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