-chore, -choric, -chorous, -chory
(Greek: a suffix: to spread, to disperse; to move, to go; to withdraw, to advance; a means or agency for distribution)
How Seeds of Plants Are Spread for Reproduction
Plants have various ways of scattering their seeds so young plants can spread around to grow away from their producers so they don't compete with each other in order to survive.
Many seeds are carried by wind, animals, or water; and some have fruits that are eaten by animals, which then deposit the seeds in their droppings.
2. Distribution of plants or seeds by the agency of living animals.
- Extremely long seed dispersal distances occur as a result of several processes; such as, ocean drift and tornadoes.
- Large numbers of seeds with different morphologies are frequently dispersed equivalent distances while attached to migrating ungulates.
- Seeds attached to the fleece of traditional nomadic, or transhumant, sheep are transported distances of up to several hundred kilometers in substantial numbers.
- Ecologists have long been frustrated by the logistical problems of gathering hard data on such dispersal and of performing useful experiments to verify their assumptions.
- Marked seeds of several common animal-dispersed (zoochory) herbaceous species were pressed onto the fleece of sheep as they passed through central Spain, and seeds still adhering to the animals were counted at regular intervals on the journey south.
- Retention patterns varied for different species:
It is well known that many plant species have seeds that are capable of dispersing over long distances, borne on the wind or carried in the gut of migrating birds or on the hides of migrating mammals.
- After 28 days and 400 km, five percent of Plantago lagopus (plantain) were still attached to the sheep.
- Fourty-seven percent of Trifolium angustifolium (clover) seeds were still attached to the sheep.
These were the longest dispersal distances recorded for these species, by two orders of magnitude, and confirm the potential for migrating ungulates to facilitate plant dispersals.