Soils are biodiversity-dense and constantly carry chemical flows of information, with our mental image of soil being dark and quiet. But what if soil biota tap sound, or more generally, vibrations as a source of information? Vibrations are produced by soil biota, and there is accumulating evidence that such vibrations, including sound, may also be perceived. We here argue for potential advantages of sound/vibration detection, which likely revolve around detection of potential danger, e.g., predators. Substantial methodological retooling will be necessary to capture this form of information, since sound-related equipment is not standard in soils labs, and in fact this topic is very much at the fringes of the classical soil research at present. Sound, if firmly established as a mode of information exchange in soil, could be useful in an ‘acoustics-based’ precision agriculture as a means of assessing aspects of soil biodiversity, and the topic of sound pollution could move into focus for soil biota and processes.
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