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Can the tree whisperer save our forests?

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posted on Sep, 25 2011 @ 04:04 PM
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During 2005, David Dunn often wandered the hilly outskirts of Santa Fe looking like a medieval plague doctor. Armed with headphones and a tape recorder, the avantgarde music composer and violin player poked the thin bark of pinyon trees with a special homemade device.The odd contraption consisted of a meat thermometer and a piezoelectric transducer from a Hallmark greeting card. After inserting the modified thermometer-cum-microphone into the tree's inner bark, Dunn patiently listened to the voices inside the tree.

Dunn started with the stories of Pueblo elders, who believe that "the beetles come when the trees cry." He wondered if that was true, and, if so, how a pinyon might weep. He was also curious about how bark beetles communicated in their winding galleries. Why did scientists know so little about the insect's acoustic abilities? Could the death of beetle-riddled spruce trees in Alaska be related to the pinyon-killing drought in New Mexico? His list kept growing.

Dunn's reflections produced some radical conclusions. Given the insect's evolutionary success and its ability to change entire landscapes at the drop of a hat, Dunn thinks bark beetles might be one of the most important animals on earth. "They are amazing creatures. They eat themselves out of a food source. That's a terrifying proposition." After producing a highly unusual beetle CD called The Sound of Light in Trees, Dunn began a wildly inventive collaboration to test an innovative idea: acoustic warfare against beetles. The results could change the entire field of pest management. "We altered beetle behavior by playing back their own sound," explains Dunn. "We managed to turn them into cannibals. We created unprecedented behaviors."


source

Crazy as it sounds these scientists seem to be on to something we've been overlooking for some time. The article itself is fairly extensive and well worth a read. I have never seen anything on this line of research and found it fascinating.




posted on Sep, 25 2011 @ 04:20 PM
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no, but a guy with a satchel of seeds and some time could.



posted on Sep, 25 2011 @ 04:37 PM
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Pretty fascinating all together, and sounds from a tree is something that never entered my mind, but sounds interesting.

Dunn started with the stories of Pueblo elders, who believe that "the beetles come when the trees cry."

Always amazed at the native's perception of nature and all her variances, through generations of observation.

To start off the experiments, McGuire played the most abrasive sounds he could think of: heavy metal and, amusingly, angry monologues by Rush Limbaugh, the infamous talk-radio host. "I wanted an authoritative, agitating, and repeatable voice I could play back again and again. I also wanted to stress the hell out of the beetles, and I thought that hate radio would do it," McGuire explains.
But the beetles in the phloem sandwich ignored Limbaugh's bombast. The beetles didn't react, either, when McGuire played the man's voice backward. "They're smart critters," adds McGuire. The beetles also ignored head-banging tunes by Metallica, as well as Guns n' Roses' Welcome to the Jungle

Haha, not a bad place to start I guess, but surprisingly without significant results. Maybe all that aggression can really make one placid and frozen in angst.

The trying sounds of other insects:

"The female started signaling by making weak pulsing sounds. The male moved towards her and started to make a terrifying loud stridulation sound. The female froze in her tracks. Then the male came up to her and chewed her in half lengthwise. It was sonic warfare," says Dunn.

Pretty effective I'd say.

We changed their reproductive behavior completely," says Hofstetter.

This is powerful approaches here and could maybe used in other areas of nature management, like mosquitos or invasive species.

Dunn's reflections produced some radical conclusions. Given the insect's evolutionary success and its ability to change entire landscapes at the drop of a hat, Dunn thinks bark beetles might be one of the most important animals on earth. "They are amazing creatures. They eat themselves out of a food source. That's a terrifying proposition." After producing a highly unusual beetle CD called The Sound of Light in Trees, Dunn began a wildly inventive collaboration to test an innovative idea: acoustic warfare against beetles. The results could change the entire field of pest management. "We altered beetle behavior by playing back their own sound," explains Dunn. "We managed to turn them into cannibals. We created unprecedented behaviors."

Wow, makes me wonder if we, as people, are sometimes in a petrie dish being experimented on as well


Good article iforget, thanks
spec



posted on Sep, 25 2011 @ 04:43 PM
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Fascinating information, Op! S&F


What this man discovered is useful as well as distructive, like most inventions actually. I just hope that his findings are kept in the right hands. If not, evil scientists might develop music or sounds that cause people to kill each and eat each other.



posted on Sep, 25 2011 @ 06:48 PM
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Hi a big thanks to all for the replies I am glad someone was able to appreciate the article as I did

applause to speculativeoptimist for the thought and time




posted on Sep, 25 2011 @ 07:52 PM
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Armed with headphones and a tape recorder, the avantgarde music composer and violin player poked the thin bark of pinyon trees with a special homemade device.The odd contraption consisted of a meat thermometer and a piezoelectric transducer from a Hallmark greeting card

Love both the innovation used and the juxtaposition(ing) of a musical composer to a tree listener, awesome!
I do wonder if this type of approach could be used around a farm plot for certain pests. I wonder if the beetles in the experiment(or in general) were responding with an auditory system or was it more vibration/frequency and 'feel?'
Googled outta curiosity, Do Insects 'Hear?'

Hearing organs which have evolved in the context of predator avoidance are highly sensitive, preferentially in a broad range of ultrasound frequencies, which release rapid escape manoeuvres. Hearing in the context of communication does not only require recognition and discrimination of highly specific song patterns but also their localisation. Typically, the spectrum of the conspecific signals matches the best sensitivity of the receiver. Directionality is achieved by means of sophisticated peripheral structures and is further enhanced by neuronal processing. Side-specific gain control typically allows the insect to encode the loudest signal on each side. The filtered information is transmitted to the brain, where the final steps of pattern recognition and localisation occur. The outputs of such filter networks, modulated or gated by further processes (subsumed by the term motivation), trigger command neurones for specific behaviours. Altogether, the many improvements opportunistically evolved at any stage of acoustic information-processing ultimately allow insects to come up with astonishing acoustic performances similar to those achieved by vertebrates.

www.springerlink.com...
Guess they do actually 'hear.'
So, us humans being such excellent vocalization mimickers, could we imitate some of these sounds and go around 'chirping' our pests away? A funny visualization does it make, but in some cases, who knows right?


Peace,
spec
edit on 25-9-2011 by speculativeoptimist because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2011 @ 11:53 PM
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Originally posted by Afterthought
Fascinating information, Op! S&F


What this man discovered is useful as well as distructive, like most inventions actually. I just hope that his findings are kept in the right hands. If not, evil scientists might develop music or sounds that cause people to kill each and eat each other.


They already have. They are called video games...

Sorry dude, I couldn't resist.



posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 12:13 AM
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I have gardened vegetables somewhat.

I know that a healthy garden is naturally pest resistant. I use only organic compost made from materials that are free from chemical fertilizer and pesticides. Properly cured, organic compost stirred into soil before planting and during growth is the best source of natural nutrients there be. Plants that have all the necessary nutrients for growth will produce their own pest and disease controls. Pests may light and munch a little but find a natural chemical resistance to their efforts and so move on. All plants, all pests.

If their is a blight or bug that is plaguing a garden, crop or forest, then it is because their is a deficiency in that eco system that has left the door open, as it were. Nature selects that pest to destroy those weakened strains of agro species in order to insure that those plants do not succeed in procreating that weakness down to further generations.

It is primarily man that has introduced toxins and inorganics to the natural scheme of things and upset the overall balance of life. Everything we do to re establish order does nothing but make things worse in the long run. I don't see that changing any time soon. The mega corps like Monsanto, Dupont, and company are too near sighted and profit oriented to ever voluntarily change their method of operations.



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