If you think that plants do not communicate, here is an update on such a viewpoint – they actually boast of a communication system which comprises of electrical signals which will activate in response to external stimuli, and these signals happen to be a valuable form of data. Such data happen to be produced only by plants when they are exposed to sunlight, pollutants, nutrients or pests. PLEASED happens to be a project from the W-Lab of the University of Rome, Italy, where the main focus would be on the gathering of raw data from plants which are happily residing outside, so that meaningful interpretations can be obtained from such signals. The reason behind this effort? To harness plants as valuable and ubiquitous living sources of data which will inform humans of the various changes in the environment so that we can respond better.
This kind of data, it is speculated, could eventually be applied to measure a wide range of chemical and physical parameters, where among them include pollution, temperature, humidity, sunlight, acid rain, apart from the presence of chemicals in organic agriculture or even the amount of pollution in the air. What do you think of the scope of this project, and is it too ambitious for you?