The concept of dispersal strategies was proposed by Sádlo et al. (2018). Plant species use different dispersal modes (or dispersal syndromes) which are defined by the employed dispersal vector, so anemochory means dispersal by wind, hydrochory is dispersal by water, and zoochory is dispersal by animals etc. As a single plant species can use not only a single dispersal mode but a set of them, assigning one dispersal mode to a species is most often not feasible. However, certain combinations of dispersal modes occur together in different sets of species, which combinations define dispersal strategies. Nine dispersal strategies have been defined by Sádlo et al. (2018), each of which are named after a genus that represents the strategy well. Dispersal modes involved in each strategy are shown in brackets, with the dominant dispersal modes underlined. Species that are not part of the Czech flora and thus have not been evaluated by Sádlo et al. (2018) were categorised into dispersal strategies following the guideline of Sádlo et al. (2018).

  • Allium  type (autochory, anemochory, endozoochory, epizoochory)
    The most common dispersal strategy, which includes approximately half of the species of the Hungarian flora. Most of the species in this category are dispersal generalists without clear signs of adaptation to anemochory or zoochory.
  • Bidens type (autochory, epizoochory, endozoochory)
    This strategy is characterised by two main dispersal modes. Despite their clear morphological adaptation for epizoochory, autochory is the most important dispersal mode for the species.
  • Cornus type (autochory, endozoochory)
    Typically herbaceous species, shrubs and trees with fleshy fruits belong to this strategy, often from the Rosaceae family. Tree species with heavy and nutrient-rich seeds also belong to this category.
  • Epilobium  type (anemochory, autochory, endozoochory, epizoochory)
    This strategy is characteristic of the species of mezic and dry habitats. The key role of anemochory is evident (several of them are from the Asteraceae family), while the role of autochory is less evident and probably underestimated.
  • Lycopodium type (anemochory, autochory, endozoochory, epizoochory, hydrochory)
    This strategy relies on very small and light seeds and spores that can easily disperse by not just wind, but also by several other agents. Compared to other dispersal strategies, the role of autochory is quite small for these species.
  • Phragmites type (anemochory, hydrochory, autochory, endozoochory, epizoochory)
    Species occurring in wetlands and having small diaspores equipped with flying apparatus belong to this strategy. Species in this category most usually do not have vegetative diaspores. Woody species and clonal graminoids and herbs are typical of this strategy.
  • Sparganium type (autochory, hydrochory, endozoochory, epizoochory)
    This strategy is characteristic of wetland species, but it resembles to Wolffia type dispersal strategy of aquatic plants. Mostly monocot species having seeds with good buoyancy belong to this category. Vegetative dispersal also plays an important role in this strategy.
  • Wolffia type (hydrochory, epizoochory, endozoochory)
    Aquatic plants (macrophytes) spreading with fruits, seeds or spores belong to this category, but vegetative dispersal and reproduction, for example by stolons and stem fragmentation, dominates in most of these species.
  • Zea type
    Species in this category are mostly crops and ornamentals that almost never disperse by generative diaspores and do not have vegetative aboveground diaspores either.

Data source and citation:

Sádlo J., Chytrý M., Pergl J. & Pyšek P. (2018): Plant dispersal strategies: a new classification based on the multiple dispersal modes of individual species. Preslia 90: 1–22.

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