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Dispersal of propagules

By Seolncr Subscribe to RSS | February 3rd 2012 | Views:


In botany is called anemochory to the shape of dispersal of propagules in which is the wind that produces transport.

Plants produce propagules as seeds, accompanied by nude or parts derived from other organs, which ideally should be dispersed at a distance. The advantage of the dispersion obtained far is multiple: the species is an opportunity to extend its area, the feet are not growing together as related (will not be as "blood") which will increase the vigor of their common ancestry, the new individuals not compete for space and nutrients with the mother plant.

There are several ways to promote the removal of propagules, which especially distinguish zoocoria (dispersion with the aid of animals) and anemochory.

The anemochory are generally based on small seeds and dry equipped or accompanied by increasing their surface structures and their friction with the air.The two most common are:

? Winged seeds or fruits. The pines have seeds or resulting from tectriz bract (the scale) is accompanied by a wing. It's called samaras to fruit but winged achene type. The fruits of the maples carry an asymmetric wing, warped and endowed with a leading edge, in everything similar to one of the blades of a propeller aeronautics, that while the fruit drops, causes a rolling motion that delays the arrival to the ground , favoring the removal.Something similar is observed in the seeds of the tree Gyrocarpus .

? Thistledown called the expansions formed by flexible or ríqidos hairs accompanying the seed or fruit. The thistledown even allow the wind lift the propagule, transporting over long distances. Many composite , such as dandelions (g. Taraxacum ) form monospermos and dry small fruits (achenes) that hang from a thistle. There a large number of cases in which the seeds, very small, appear enveloped by a cottony mass. This is the case of poplars ( Populus ), willow ( Salix ) or cattails ( Typha ).

A special case is anemochory plant estepicursoras calls, which are left whole move. Is the case of Barillas ( Salsola ), which are uprooted and are transported rolling on the wind, while van expelling their seeds.


In ecology botany is called balocoria to dispersal of seeds or other propagules by an explosive mechanism.

The balocoria is one of the rarer forms of those used by plants or fungi to encourage the dispersal of propagules, but still not a rare phenomenon, and there are plenty of examples.

In some angiosperms , fruit ripening is accompanied by an increase in turgor. It requires acts of God, such as the passage of an animal, the stroke of the drops of rain or wind pressure, so that the seeds come out fired. Some examples:

? Ecballium elaterium , known is Spain as devil's pickle, ripe fruit off of their stems at the slightest touch. Seeds covered with adhesive material, shoot out with sufficient force to produce a painful sensation in the recipient. Those that remain attached to the animal or person, are added opportunity to get away from the mother plant ( ectozoocoria ).

? Impatiens noli-tangere , called nometoques in northeastern Spain, and with equivalent names in the rest of Europe. The name given by Linnaeus to the genus refers to this feature, as well as the specific epithet noli-tangere , meaning the same as nometoques in Latin.

In other angiosperms, the fruit accumulates during ripening elastic energy in the structures that hold the seed, so that a contact releases it in a way that results thrown a distance. By this mechanism the seeds of various plants can be over a meter away. This is the typical form of dispersion, eg, the extensive genus Geranium.

There are also multiple examples of fungi that employ an explosive mechanism of dispersion. The most notable is Pilobolus , a saprophyte that develops on the dung of cows, whose sporangium grows at the end of a stem provided with positive phototropism. Under the sporangium swollen tissue develops which eventually lead to his shot at distances of more than two meters, where the spores are eaten by grazing animals, spreading further.

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