Course Content
Biology Form 3
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Adaptations of Fruits and Seeds to their Various Methods of Dispersal


Wind Dispersal

  • Censor mechanism; the seed capsule is in a way that when it opens, seeds are easily blown away by wind;
  • Have wing/feather/hair-like structures for floating in air;
  • Have fine hair to increase surface area for floating in air;
  • Small and light so that they are easily carried away by wind;
  • Are loosely attached on the stalks so that they can easily be broken and carried away by wind;
  • Have parachute like-structure for buoyancy and to be blown easily by wind;


Water Dispersal

  • Have air spaces/spongy/fibrous; thus light and able to float on water easily;
  • Pericarp/endocarp/testa is waterproof to prevent entry of water;
  • Have outer covering that easily absorb water, swell and burst open to release seeds; eg water lily
  • The seeds can remain viable while in water and only germinate while on a suitable medium;


Animal Dispersal

  • Large and conspicuous to be seen easily;
  • Fleshy succulent to be eaten;
  • Brightly coloured when ripe to attract animals;
  • Seeds have hard seed coats hence pass through the digestive system undigested;
  • Some have hooks for clinging onto the animal’s body; e.g. blackjack
  • Some have sticky hairs that attach to the animal’s body.


Self-explosive mechanism

  • Have sutures/lines of weaknesses along which pods splits open to release seeds;
  • Censor mechanism; in which pods/capsules splits violently to release seeds into the air;
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