Plants can scream for help--they just
need a little help with technology!
By listening and processing the internal acoustic emissions of plants we
can find out more about internal changes. This project is divided
into two goals.
1) We will monitor and compare the acoustic data from several Saguaros
under a series of stress conditions (drought, temperature extremes, UV
intensities, etc) and try to correlate the acoustic emissions with those
stressors, i.e. discover if the Saguaro will produce a unique sound for
a given stressor?
2) Eventually we would like to apply enough sensors to do some acoustic
tomography (image the water movement inside the Saguaro)
Or in other words, will the Saguaro give a scream when he is
thirsty and make a different noise when he is too cold?
Interesting facts about Saguaros:
- Saguaros can be 50 ft (15 m tall) and weight 8 tons (7000 kgs)
- Are only found in the Sonora Desert (southern Arizona and
- Are known to absorb as much as 1849 gallons (7000 liters) of
water in a 10-day period. Camels of the plant world!
Broader Implications of this research:
This technology will evenutally be tranferable to other plant speices.
In addition to better understanding plants and how they adapt to their
changing environment, additional potential applications are for water
conservation and pest control. We will also investigate the
potential to produce devices for home use - so that your plants will let
you know what they are needing.
Follow out progress on:
You can support this science project with small contributions ($5 or
via RocketHub & SciFund through 31 May 2012.