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Seed dispersal information on species fact sheets

Campbell Island bitter cress (Cardamine subcarnosa) disperses its seeds by ballistic projection, water and attachment. Photo: Phil Garnock-Jones

Seed dispersal mechanisms for over 2,000 species of vascular native plants are being added to our species fact sheets. This information has been generously supplied by Mike Thorsen who, along with Kath Dickinson and Phil Seddon, published "Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora" in Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics in 2009.

The various methods which our flora employ to disperse their seeds are varied and interesting. Different seed dispersal mechanisms include: water, wind, becoming attached to birds, livestock or people, bird, insect or lizard frugivory, mammalian granivory and ballistic propulsion. Understanding these mechanisms is of crucial relevance when managing in situ populations of Threatened or At Risk plants.

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