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Plants that move: How a New Zealand species disperses seeds in a high alpine, wet environment
Date:9/30/2010

pen in all weather conditions.

"The most important point from our research," Pufal emphasizes, "is that we described the function and anatomy of this very specific dehiscence mechanism in some New Zealand Veronica and these occur in the New Zealand alps, where the environment shows just the opposite of desert conditionsit is very wet most of the year."

So why do these plants exhibit this intriguing dehiscence behavior?

"We have already published some results, stating that hygrochasy in alpine Veronica might serve as a safe site strategy for seeds in patchy environments, by restricting dispersal to suitable patches," Pufal notes. "However, it would be interesting to investigate hypotheses for hygrochasy in plants of very different habitats, such as prairies or wetlands and compare those with the 'typical' hygrochastic species of deserts in southern and northern Africa and our own results of the work in New Zealand. What happens in other extreme environments such as the sub-Antarctic islands or tundras around the Arctic circle?"

"We also think there is the possibility for future studies on the evolution of hygrochasy in alpine members of the large Veronica clade in New Zealand (100+ species)," Pufal concludes. "Does hygrochasy follow phylogeny or did it evolve independently?"


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Contact: Richard Hund
rhund@botany.org
314-577-9557
American Journal of Botany
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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