Describe the various ways by which seeds are dispersed.
The dispersal of seeds takes place through different mechanisms.
Wind: Many seeds get dispersed by wind and therefore they may develop hair¬like structures that offer air-resistance so that they are carried over long distances before falling to the ground. Common examples of such seeds are that of drumstick, cotton seeds and seeds of maple.
Water: The seeds may also get carried away by water. Seeds of water plants such as the water lily, lotus, coconut, etc. may even develop a spongy outer coat that keeps the seeds afloat.
Animals: Animals also help in seed dispersal by eating the succulent fruits or the seeds of plants like Xanthium, stick to the body of animals passing by through tiny hooks in their coat and travel to far off places.
Explosion: Another means of seed dispersal takes place through explosive mechanisms employed by the plant itself. Sometimes as observed in case of pea, jasmine, etc.