The sound of 2018 – how a poplar perceived the heatwave in 2018

Published on
March 18, 2019

Being immobile does not mean that organisms are not responsive to external conditions. At the celebration of the 101st Dies Natalis of Wageningen University & Research Ute Sass-Klaassen showed in an unique way how our Twittering Poplar perceived the heatwave of 2018 and which innovative technologies made this possible.

Trees are constantly reacting on changes in their environment such as the heatwave of 2018, through buffering and adaptation. In collaboration with Kathy Steppe & Jonas van der Crone (Ghent University) and Bert Barten (Talking Trees) we can make such hidden processes visible and audible. Measuring water flow and growth of tree stems can serve as early-warning system to indicate drought stress in trees. Sonification translates these measurements into sounds and creates awareness for effects of extreme events on trees and forests.

Curious how these processe are made visible and audible? Watch the presentation by Ute Sass-Klaassen (ca 10 min, starts at 1:25:47), held on the 101th Dies Natalis, March 11, 2019.