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?
saguaro close up
Saguaro cactus near Tucson, Arizona

Interesting facts about Saguaros:

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. 
Meet the Project Scientists
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You can support this science project with small contributions ($5 or more):  http://rkthb.co/7537   via RocketHub & SciFund through 31 May 2012.