It turned out that noise may prevent the growth of forests
New research proposes that noise pollution may stop the growth of some forests. For instance, in the forests of New Mexico, there have been found fewer trees growing in noisy places than in quiet ones.
The study area is covered with gas wells, some of them are quiet while others have compressors that make constant noise. This fact allowed scientists to compare various areas with different levels of noise. And in areas that have been noisy for about 15 years, only 17 seedlings per hectare were found, compared to 84 seedlings per hectare in quiet regions. Unfortunately, the noise affected the rest of the plants as well. But at the same time, some types of wildflowers and bushes were common in both noisy and quiet places.
The researchers suggest that the differences in plant growth were caused by changes in animal behavior. For example, noise can drive away insects such as bees. For pine trees, the problem is that there are not enough animals to distribute seeds. The point is the birds and animals that carry the seeds avoid the noise.
The findings show that noise pollution is more than just a little problem and it can be a serious threat to ecosystems.
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