Such noise may be harmful to some plants because of the long-term impact it has on animals that pollinate flowers and disperse seeds.

Scientists made the findings in tests near the noisy gas wells of New Mexico, which have compressors running 24 hours a day, The Independent reported Wednesday.

The study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, probed the noise preferences of different animals that feed on the seeds of the pinon pine tree.

It found that certain species, such as western scrub jays, tended to avoid noise, while other seed-eaters, such as mice, appeared to prefer foraging in noisy areas.

This difference in noise tolerance would affect the likely germination of pinon seeds because the natural instinct of jays is to hide many of the seeds they collect by burying them, the newspaper quoted Clinton Francis, lead researcher at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Centre in North Carolina, as saying.