Seeds and fruits of flowers
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 . Seeds or fruits adhere to the surface of animals through adhesive substances or mechanical structures that favor fixation, such as hooks or harpoons.
? 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 prepared for it are carriers of rewards or lures with which at once attract their dispersing agents.
? This term is also known as Epizoocoría. Consists in the dispersal system of fruits per half of adherence to mammalian hair or clothes by using skewers or hooks present from seeds. Many grasses and arbojos use this dispersion system.
? In other cases, fixation is achieved by adhesive substances instead of skewers or hooks. In parasitic plants that grow on the branches of trees, such as mistletoe and other lorantáceas , the dispersion depends on the birds and arboreal animals, and is the only way to ensure that seeds reach new branches on which to germinate.
? Many plants produce fleshy fruits or seeds fleshy, watery, nutritious, rich in flavors and bright colors. Adaptation involving the attraction of animals that eat them. seeds from the animal's digestive tract. Seeds not only resist the gastric juices, but generally do not reach the full capacity to germinate if not experience its effects.
? Open fruit showing pomegranate seeds with fleshy red sarcotesta.
? Seeds of Acacia dealbata , some still carrying elaiosomas that serve as rewards for the ants.
? Olives, for example, must be swallowed, before germinating, what they do medium-sized birds like magpies. Small fruits are abundant in more or less intensely colored red, like cherries, which should continue this treatment. Its color corresponds precisely with the maximum sensitivity of the eye of birds, the equivalent of which is yellow in our own vision. Many tropical fruits are yellow or orange adapted to be eaten by monkeys. In fact interpreted the vision of color that distinguishes the primates (monkeys) from other mammals (not distinguish colors) represents a case of coevolution or coadaptation of primates, arboreal as are the trees of the tropics where they originated. Another group of mammals, including primates, is called the dispersion is that of macroquirópteros, called voladorres foxes, large bats rainforests own flock to the flowers, also acting as pollinators, and fruit. It's called frugivores (fruit eaters literally) to animals with this adaptation.
? In cherries the bait is part of the fruit, in particular the mesocarp , but other species can be directly part of the seed, as in the pomegranate, the seeds are provided with a sarcotesta colorful and sweet.
? Some fruits have seeds dispersed in the pulp, as in melons, watermelons and squash (cucurbits, fam. Cucurbitaceae ) and in apples, pears and otherrosaceous related. In these cases the dispersing agent is typically a mammalian omnivore.
? A special case is offered zoocoria plants that use ants for dispersal. This phenomenon, called mirmecocoria , requires that seeds bearing a part, not necessary for germination, to justify the effort of the ants. 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.
? Endozoócoras plants obtained another advantage for its seeds, which is that these are "seeded" to the accompaniment of a dose of fertilizer, which represent the stool next to those that are abandoned.
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