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Old 10-19-2010, 11:41 AM   #1
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Default Plants That Move: How a New Zealand Species Disperses Seeds in a High Alpine, Wet Environment

Plants That Move: How a New Zealand Species Disperses Seeds in a High Alpine, Wet Environment
ScienceDaily
Sep. 30, 2010

Plants that move: How a New Zealand species disperses seeds in a high alpine, wet environment
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Pufal and her colleagues were interested in another type of plant movement -- one used for dispersing seeds, called hygrochasy. While most plants rely on outside sources such as animals or wind to move their seeds to new locations, some plants have specialized, self-sufficient mechanisms. Hygrochasy combines the movement of a plant organ with dispersal of seeds -- in response to moisture, such as rain drops, water fills specific cells or cell walls, changing their size, which in turn pops open a capsule expelling the seeds found within.

"Hygrochasy is a dehiscence mechanism that was previously thought to be very specific to plants from very dry environments with only sporadic rainfall," Pufal notes. "When the closed fruits of some desert plants are wetted by rainfall, they open and the seeds get dispersed, thus taking immediate advantage of the recently moistened soils and ensuring successful seed germination...
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alpine, dispersal, disperse, disperses, environment, germinate, germination, high, hygrochasy, move, plants, sed, seed dispersal, seeds, species, wet, zealand

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