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Press Release 12-052

Human Noise Has Ripple Effects on Plants

Clamor affects more than birds and other animals

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Photo of the red trumpet-like flowers of Scarlet gilia.

Scarlet gilia, which attracts hummingbirds, was a subject in one "noise experiment."

Credit: National Park Service


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Photo of Rattlesnake Canyon Wildlife Area in New Mexico.

Rattlesnake Canyon Wildlife Area in New Mexico was the site of the noise research.

Credit: Bureau of Land Management


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Photo of a black-chinned hummingbird with unfurled wings perching on a branch.

Black-chinned hummingbirds prefer noisy nesting sites; other birds stay away.

Credit: National Park Service


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Photo of a piņon pine showing its pine cone.

Human noise affects plants such as piņon pine, whose seed-dispersers avoid the clamor.

Credit: Clinton Francis


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Photo of Western Scrub Jays feeding on pinon pine seeds.

Jays feed on piņon pine seeds; a motion-triggered camera catches them in action.

Credit: Clinton Francis


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Photo of a natural gas well.

Scientists conducted experiments near natural gas wells; the din goes on day and night.

Credit: Clinton Francis


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