Plants & Human Affairs - Introduction
Cherries.wmf (7140 bytes) Plants & Human Affairs (BIOL106)  -  Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;

Private Lives of Plants:  Volume 1
(Branching Out)

  1. Why was it necessary for plants to evolve mechanisms of seed dispersal?  (hint:  consider the plant way of life notes)

  2. What is a runner?  Give an example.

  3. Matching:  Match each of the following with its method of seed dispersal.

a.  air/wind                                            d.  raindrop
b.  explosive/mechanical                        e.  water
c.  animal

_____ tumbleweed
_____ earthstar fungus
_____ dandelion

_____ maple
_____ squirting cucumber
_____ sea bean

_____ durian
_____ acacia pods
_____ Brazil nuts

  1. Identify at least two different adaptations that plants have evolved in order to utilize animals to disseminate fruits/seeds.  Give an example of each type of dispersal mechanism.

  2. In what way can fire be an advantage to plant dispersal?

  3. True or False (circle):  The flesh of a fruit like a cherry, peach, and apple provides nutrition for the seed when it germinates. (if the statement is false, correct the statement and indicate why it is wrong)

  4. Thought Question:  How are the fruits of hedge apple (osage orange) dispersed?  Outline an experiment you could conduct or evidence that you would collect to test your hypothesis.

  5. Thought Question:  Which of the following plants would you most likely expect fruits/seeds to be dispersed by wind:  herb in the prairie, tree in a rainforest, herb on the floor of a deciduous forest?  Explain the rational for your answer.  Then, outline an experiment you could conduct or evidence that you would collect to test your hypothesis. 

  6. Thought Question:  True or False.  Plants on islands have evolved well-developed mechanism for long distance dispersal of seeds/fruits.  Explain the rationale for your response.

  7. What was your favorite plant in today�s video.  Why?

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Last updated:  09/12/2005 / � Copyright  by SG Saupe