Dispersal of fruits and seeds
Dispersal of Fruits and Seeds the dispersal of fruits and seeds is the advantage of plants, as it enables them to flourish in a peaceful manner and find new localities where conditions are favorable for their growth.
The fruits and seeds are dispersed by different agencies; the chief agencies are wind, water, animals and explosive mechanisms.
1. Dispersal by Wind:
The seeds dispersed by wind are light in weight and this enables them to remain in air for a long time, e.g., seeds of orchids. These seeds are characterized by certain modifications which include (i) parachute mechanism (ii) development of wings (iii) hairy outgrowths (iv) censor mechanism and (v) pappus formation. The mode of wind dispersal is observed in seeds of pinus, sunflower, dodak, cotton and datura.
2. Dispersal by Water:
Water dispersal is observed in seeds of aquatic plants and the plants which grow along the banks of rivers and lakes and by the shores of the sea. The seeds and fruits of such plants develop spongy outer covering to keep them floating for some time, e.g., lotus, coconut, etc.
3. Dispersal by Animals:
The seeds and fruits in this case may develop outgrowths like hooks, spines and sticky glands by means of which they stick to the bodies of animals or clothing of mankind, e.g., seeds of saffron, and mulberry are eaten by birds and animals and are passed out unaffected along with the faces at some other places.
4. Dispersal by Explosive Mechanism:
In this case, the ripened fruits burst out by slight disturbance with such a force that the seeds are scattered and dispersed out far away from the parent plant, e.g., balsam, castor, oxalis and squirting gourd.