Ecosystems are noisy places, but humans are the loudest of all. In this piece, Alanna Mitchell investigates how we are drowning out what the earth is trying to say.

Plants emit sound waves. Pea seedlings listen for the flow of water. Bacteria converse, albeit at ranges higher than we can hear. Even a fungus may be able to talk; scientists say the thready networks of root fungi that link forests may be as gabby as a schoolyard at recess.