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That Noise Might Affect Your Plants

A recent article from NPR investigates a study on the effect of noise on plant growth.  At the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in North Carolinathere are thousands of gas wells, about a third of them pressurized by ear-splitting compressors.  These compressors run 24 hours a day 7 days a week and since 2005, their effect on the the birds in the canyon has been studied.

They found the noise effects each species differently.

Black-chinned hummingbirds, tend to prefer and settle in Noisy landscapes, and Western scrub jays ten to avoid these noisy areas


These different reactions to noise from birds has an interesting side effect on the plants that grow in these areas. The jays are important for seed dispersers for pinon pine and they found fewer pine seedlings at noisy sites. In addition, the few that were found in these areas were often eaten by mice.

However, in contrast, a flower pollinated by hummingbirds did better near the compressors, since hummingbirds like the noise since it drives away competitors and predators that might eat the hummingbirds’ young.

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