Noise pollution has not yet been accorded much significance compared to air and water pollution. But as it turns out, noise pollution can have a serious impact on all of our lives in the long run. Know why? Thanks to high decibel around, reproduction among plants tend to be stunted.
This conclusion was reached after a study report from researchers of North Carolina’s National Evolutionary Synthesis Center. It has been explained that animals that make pollination possible tend to be warded off due to noises over a certain decibel value, which in turn leads to absolutely no reproduction of plants.
In the first of the two experiments, the team focused on birds that are considered to be especially sensitive to noise owing to their reliance on acoustic communication.
They placed patches of artificial hummingbird-pollinated flowers in noisy and quiet areas. These convincing flower copies contained tubes of nectar, enabling the researchers to track exactly how much sugary fluid was consumed by visiting hummingbirds.
In the second set of experiments, the team studied the effect of noise on a species of tree that makes up much of the area’s forest habitat, the Pinon pine.
The team placed pine cones beneath 120 trees in noisy and quiet sites, and used a motion-triggered camera to record the animals that took the seeds.
Over three days, several animals visited the sites to take seeds, including mice, chipmunks, squirrels, birds and rabbits. Most significantly though, mice much preferred noisy sites, whereas western scrub jays avoided them altogether.
The studies explained that this could be a very bad condition. The seeds that are eaten by mice, don’t survive the passage through the animal’s gut. So an increase in mice population near noisy sites could mean that fewer seeds germinate in those areas.
Noise pollution rates are climbing and the studies suggest that investigators should evaluate the ecological consequences of noise, alongside other human-induced environmental changes that are reshaping human-altered landscapes worldwide.
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