D³ database

Glossary

 

agochory: diaspores are transported unintentionally by human activities

 

anemochory: dispersal by wind; excluding boleochory (i.e. dispersal of seeds by the swaying motion of the infructescence)

 

anthropochory: dispersal by human indivuals, i.e. dyso-, endo- or epizoochory by humans

 

antichory: cf. ateleochory

 

antiteleochory: cf. ateleochory

 

aril: fleshy outgrowth of a seed, that often attracts animals like birds (e.g. in Taxus baccata) or ants (e.g. in Viola odorata)

 

ateleochory: = antiteleochory = antichory; the diaspore stays in direct vicinity of the mother plant which can be advantageous if the conditions of the place of origin are favourable

 

autochory: generic category used for all types of seed dispersal where the transport of the seeds is resulting from forces that are mediated by the plant or its tissues

 

awn: a slender, bristle-like appendage originating from the lemma of many grasses (Poaceae)

 

ballistochory: cf. ballochory

 

ballochory (syn. explosive seed dispersal): = ballistochory. Diaspores are actively released from the plant. The force is typically resulting from tissue tension.

 

blastochory: diaspores are put down in short distance while still beeing connected to the mother plant. The connection is dissolved later.

 

boleochory: cf. semachory; diaspores are thrown away from moving capsules (or capsule-like organs). The capsules can be accelerated by wind or passing animals.

 

bristle: stiff but slender appendage which is typically a hair or trichome (e.g. in Setaria spec.)

 

bulbil: small organ (bulb or tuber) growing in leaf axils or inflorescences that allows vegetative reproduction

 

bythisochory: diaspores are transported by water currents


callus: basal stalk of a floret in grasses

 

calyx: outer part of the perianth

 

capsule: dehiscent fruit which opens to release the seeds; this broad definition includes legumes as well as follicles

 

chamaechory: diaspores tumble away on the ground in the wind, e.g. tumbleweeds like Salsola or Colutea arborescens

 

compound fruit: aggregation of fruits (from several flowers) which build one structural unit; e.g. Morus (mulberry)

 

diaspore: dispersal unit; cf. Diaspore Typology

 

dispersal distance: the horizontal distance over which a diaspore is transported away from the maternal plant

 

dispersal kernel: distribution of dispersal distances from the maternal plant

 

dispersal mode: type of dispersal, e.g. anemochory, hydrochory

 

dispersal vector: external factor causing dispersal, e.g. wind, animals

 

dispersule: cf. diaspore

 

drupe: fruit with membranous exocarp, fleshy mesocarp and hard endocarp; e.g. in Prunus (cherry, peach, plum etc.)

 

drupelet: drupe-like segment of a fruit; e.g. in Rubus fruticosus (blackberry)

 

dysochory: diaspores are transported by animals, because they are used as nutrition, but a fraction is not eaten and can germinate. E.g. dispersal by scatterhording animals like rodents or birds.

 

elaiosome: fleshy (often fatty) appendage on seeds that attracts ants

 

endocarp: hard or membranous inner layer of the pericarp that encloses the seed

 

endozoochory: diaspores get attached to the surface of animals (e.g. fur, feather, skin, feet), retain there and are transported before dropping off

 

epizoochory: dispersal on the furs or hooves of animals

 

ethelochory: diaspores (or whole plants) are transported because they are commercially used

 

exocarp: outer layer of the pericarp

 

floret: single flower in the infructescence (spikelet) of grasses (Poaceae) (also at the state of maturity = fruit)

 

follicle: dehiscent fruit (or fruitlet) that is built from one carpel; opens on one side

 

fruit: seed containing structure of flowering plants that originates from one flower; this definition includes accessory fruits in which some of the fleshy part is not derived from the ovary but from some adjacent tissue; e.g. in Malus (apple)

 

fruitlet: one of many fruit segments, which derive from one flower; i.e. the fruit from one flower develops into fruitlets (cf. drupelet, nutlet, follicle)

 

funiculus: stipe attaching an ovule to the ovary wall in a fruit

 

germinule: the unit that contains the seed and from which germination occurs; in many species the germinule is only the main part of the diaspore because fragile appendages like hairs or wings break off after seed dispersal

 

glume: dry bracts at the base of one spikelet in grasses (Poaceae)

 

hemerochory: generic category used for all types of seed dispersal by human and human activities. This includes dispersal by human indivuals (cf. anthropochory) and by human mediated activities, e.g. by vehicles, contaminated seeds, agriculture

 

herpochory: diaspores contain morphological or anatomical structures that generate movement on the ground (over very short distances)


hydrochory: here: dispersal on the surface of water

 

inflorescence: part of the plant stem containing a group of flowers

 

infructescence: fruits deriving from a inflorescence; mainly single separated fruits

 

legume: dehiscent fruit of many Fabaceae; opens on two sides

 

lemma: lower and typically larger dry bract at the base of a single flower (floret) in grasses (Poaceae); often with an awn

 

mesocarp: middle layer of the pericarp

 

nut: fruit with hard (woody) pericarp

 

nutlet: small nut-like fruitlet; e.g. "seeds" in Fragaria (strawberry) or in rose hips (fruit of roses (Rosa))

 

ombrochory: diaspores are thrown away from the mother plant. The acceleration is generated by falling raindrops.

 

palaea: upper and typically smaller dry bract around a single flower (floret) in grasses (Poaceae)

 

pappus: modified calyx in several Asteraceae (e.g. Taraxacum, dandelion); may be composed of bristles, hair, hooks or scales

 

peduncle: the part of the stem from which the flower or fruit originates

 

perianth: sterile outer whorls of a flower

 

pericarp: tissue of the fruit surrounding the seed, often organized in three distinct layers: endocarp, mesocarp and exocarp

 

pseudovivipar: species that produce bulbils in the inflorescence which germinate while still being attached to the mother plant; e.g. in Poa bulbosa

 

pyrene: seed with woody endocarp, normally developing in an drupe; e.g. the kernel in Prunus (cherry, peach, plum etc.)

 

seed: contains the embryo (developing from the ripened plant ovule) and often endosperm (a nutritive tissue); typically enclosed by a hard seed coat (testa)

 

semachory: = boleochory; dispersal by the swaying motion of the infructescence caused by wind or animals passing by

 

speirochory: diaspores are transported as contamination in seeds

 

spikelet: small infructescence in grasses (Poaceae); typically with two glumes at its base

 

stomatochory: dispersal by animals where the seeds are spat (after carrying)

 

tumbleweed: species in which aboveground parts of a plant sever and are scttered by the wind, thus acting as the diaspore (e.g. Salsola tragus, cf. chamaechory)

 

turion: overwintering bud in some water plants, e.g. Potamogeton, Aldrovanda and Utricularia

 

utriculus: bracteole in sedges (Cyperaceae); encloses the fruit in Carex in a way that an inflated cavity originates

 

vivipar: producing seeds that germinate on the plant

 

zoochory: dispersal by animals; cf. dysochory, endozoochory and epizoochory