Aspects of dispersal in Cymbalaria muralis (Scrophulariaceae)
Junghans, Thomas; Fischer, Eberhard
published: Sep 4, 2008
In the chasmophytic species Cymbalaria muralis seeds are thought to be dispersed to suitable microsites mostly by recurving fruiting pedicels in a negative phototropic reaction. Depending on pedicel growth, competence between capsules and availability and number of safe sites seeds are dispersed within a short range of the parent plant. This enables the species to replace individuals in order to provide a limited population growth while it prevents the colonization of distant habitats at the same time. Surprisingly, only a small number of seeds are found to be safe-site dispersed when the number of capsules produced by single plants is compared to the number of safe-site deposited capsules. Furthermore, investigations of capsule and seed micromorphology, the mechanism of dehiscence as well as germination experiments suggest that the species is taking advantage of a variety of factors that can enhance secondary dispersal leading to a potential long-range dispersal.