UK GCSE level age ~14-16, ~US grades 9-10 Biology revision notes re-edit 16/05/2023 [SEARCH]

 Flowering plants: 4. The ways in which seeds and fruits are dispersed

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(4) Ways in which seeds are dispersed - adaptations to help propagate the next generation

In order for the plant species to continue the seeds must be scattered and spread by one means or another to avoid over competition from each other for the same nutrient resources.

(i) Animal dispersal

Animals can spread seeds in several different ways.

Fruits are a source of food to animals and after consumption the seeds are scattered in the dropped animal faeces some distance from the plant of origin.

The fruit, containing the seed, can stick to an animals coat and be carried away before falling off at some distant location. Some fruit have barbed points that make them stick on the animals coat.

(ii) Wind dispersal

Seeds are small lightweight objects are readily made airborne and carried away by the wind, to eventually settle some distance from the 'mother' plant.

Good examples are dandelions and sycamore seed bearing fruits.

(iii) Explosive dispersal

Some seed pods dry out and then the seeds inside are flung out in a mini explosion e.g. peas from a seed pod.

(iv) Drop and roll dispersal

If the fruit is round and smooth, after falling from the plant, it will roll away from the mother plant.

The conker fruits from the horse chestnut trees is a good example.


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