Seed dispersal mchanisms
remove.this.ecology at ozemail.com.au
Tue Jul 11 18:38:46 EST 2000
I am working with the native Australian tree species Cadellia pentastylis an
obscure species (and a monotypic genus) belonging to the family Surianaceae.
My question relates to seed dispersal mechanisms and whether the strategy
employed by this species is at all unique.
The small fruits of C. pentastylis remain attached to woody sepals which
swell and twist following pollination and seed maturation. The sepals
enhance seed dispersal as they maintain good bouyancy in the air rotating
like the rotor blades of a helicopter.
Typically plant seeds or fruits themselves develop membranes or wings to aid
dispersal. Is this unusual for sepals to be used in this way? Are there
examples of co-evolution from other continents?
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