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Fruit and seeds

By Seolncr Subscribe to RSS | February 21st 2012 | Views:

As a general rule it's appendages called eleosomas or elaiosomas (literally "fatty"), rich in nutritious oils. Ants collect these seeds carrying them to their nests where the elaiosome is removed and the seed actively abandoned.

In ecology botanical called balocoria to scattering of seeds or other propagules by an explosive device.

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 during ripening accumulates elastic energy in the structures supporting the seed, so that a contact releases it in a way that it is thrown away. By this mechanism the seeds of various plants can be over a meter away. This is the typical form of dispersion, for example, the vast genre Geranium (see figure).

There are also many examples of fungi which employ an explosive dispersion mechanism. 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.

In botany called zoocoria to the shape of dispersal of propagules in which the agent providing the transport is an animal.

Plants produce propagules in the form of seeds , accompanied by nude or parts derived from other organs ( fruit ), 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 with the mother plant for space and nutrients.

There are several ways to promote the removal of propagules, which especially distinguish anemochory (wind dispersal) and zoocoria.

For zoocoria seeds or fruits have specialized external parties to facilitate their association with animals. We distinguish two types:

? Ectozoocoria . Fruit seeds or adhere to the surface of the animals by means of adhesives or mechanical structures that promote attachment, such as hooks or spears.

? Endozoochory . The seeds are swallowed by certain animals, attracted to it by a testa (seed coat), a fleshy fruit or some other bait. Fruit and seeds are prepared for that lures rewards or carriers with which both attract their dispersing agents.

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