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Myrmecochory - Seed Dispersal by Ants

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Uploaded on Sep 11, 2010

This video talks about the phenomenon of Myrmecochory that is the dispersal of seeds by ants. Many plants have evolved relationships with ants and it's a shame more of them are not being included in the garden setting. Our native spring wildflowers are every bit as pretty as imported bulbs from northern Europe. Many of them bloom sooner in the year too, February or March!

The seeds are produced with packets of elaiosome one them, a fleshy body of ant food. Depending on the species of ant though the seeds are either treated as a food source or food item. Food items are hauled back to the nest while food sources are simply fed upon where found. Seeds that make it back to the ant nest are planted, protected from birds, wildflowers, and seed eating insects. Gardeners tend to frown on this though but it's simple enough to harvest the seeds and plant as normal.

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