Have you ever wondered about the night-time behaviour of trees? Well, worry no more, because the research impressed New Scientist enough to name its outcome one of the most exciting scientific results of the year, writes hvg.hu.

The science magazine New Scientist made a compilation of the most exciting research of 2016 at the end of the year, which included analyses such as the detection of gravitational waves, the mysterious Planet Nine, the baby of three parents, and the sleeping of trees.

Notably, the latter research investigating what happens to the trees at night involved scientists of the Hungarian Academy of Science’s Centre for Ecological Research. The researchers used infrared laser scanners and measured the movement of the branches at night.

The description of New Scientist reads as such:

“Trees have been shown to undergo physical changes at night that can be likened to sleep, or at least to the day-night cycles seen in smaller plants. Branches of birch trees droop by as much as 10 centimetres at the tips towards the end of the night, it was reported in May. It isn’t known if the drooping is deliberate, dictated by an active sleep-night cycle, or passive, dictated by differences in the availability of water and light.”

However, there seems to be a connection between the movements and the water content of the cells and therefore the whole tree’s water supply. Hence, the research might help in coming to terms with the issue of the functioning of the water supply.

Watch the video illustrating “The 12 biggest science stories of 2016” by the New Scientist below:

Copy editor: bm

Source: hvg.hu, newscientist.com

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