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Cethinn t1_iti2gxi wrote

I haven't heard of this, but it sounds like it'd be much better explained as tree roots grow towards vibrations, not tree roots grow towards the sound of flowing water. Sure, flowing water creates vibrations, but I'd bet on it being more broad than specifically listening for water. However, in nature those are effectively the same. There aren't too many sources of vibration underground besides water, so there's no need for the trees to distinguish sources.


spiderpig_spiderpig_ t1_itjzi4j wrote

How confident are you of this / dreaded citation needed? I'd imagine many burrowing animals would make an awful lot more direct noise than trees in a dry area (I have no source, other than my imagination!).


Cethinn t1_itk4l3f wrote

I'd say like 60% confidence. I also have no knowledge on the subject, but it's what makes sense. Developing mechanisms to recognize different types of sounds is a lot more difficult than just moving towards sounds in general.

Burrowing animals would create vibrations, but it wouldn't be constant unless it's near a nest of some kind. Even if that did happen, there wouldn't be any harm. If we consider the results with just burrowing towards vibration in general and burrowing towards a recognized water sound, the outcomes are about the same with one mechanism being significantly easier to evolve.