Seed Dispersal

Seed dispersal is the transport of a seed of a plant away from the parent plant. The dispersal of seeds in fruits is one of the primary reasons angiosperms are very successful, numerous, and widespread. A fruit, which is the ripened ovary of a flower, is an adaptation that helps with the dispersal of seeds. There are various methods by which the seed can be moved. Some angiosperms depend on wind for the dispersal of its seeds. The seeds could travel through wind currents and eventually land in the ground to germinate and grow. Other fruits are transported by clinging onto animals’ furs. For instance the barbs of cockleburs hook to the fur of various animals. The fruits may be carried away for miles before the open to release the seeds. Seeds may also be dispersed through traveling and being carried off in water. Many angiosperms may produce edible, fleshy fruits which are may be eaten by animals as food. For example, birds, such as the two, somewhat indistinguishable ones pictured here, sometimes scour the ground, trees, and bushes for edible fruits. They eat the fleshy portion of the fruits, but the many of the hardy seeds pass through the digestive system and may be deposited them into the ground, along with some natural fertilizer, a distance from where it originally had the fruit.

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