Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team
Biologist Nathan Mineo
Written by Nathan Mineo Did you know that trees can talk? Actually, this isn’t anything new. It’s long been known that trees and other plants can communicate with one another using pheromones. One of the most famous examples is the iconic acacia tree of the African savanna. When a giraffe starts browsing on the leaves, it triggers the tree to produce high levels of poisonous tannins in the leaves, making them inedible. Also produced is a distress pheromone that is released from the leaves of the browsed tree, carried by the wind to the leaves of other acacias in the area, who then also start to produce high levels of poisonous tannins. Now that all the acacias in the area have inedible leaves, the giraffes have to move on.
Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team * 242 Main Street #5 * Gloucester, MA 01930