Delayed seed dispersal species and related traits in the desert of the United Arab Emirates
The ability of plants to safely retain seeds in the mother plant is an adaptive mechanism described in many desert plants. However, research about delayed seed dispersal species in the desert of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is lacking. This study aims to identify these delayed seed dispersal species and assess the relationships of the presence of delayed seed dispersal with plant growth form, habit, spatial dispersal, antitelechoric mechanism, and seed release time. The relationships between the presence of delayed seed dispersal and the above studied traits were assessed by using the Pearson Chi-square test and Nonlinear Principal Components Analysis (NLPCA). Results showed that a total of 46 delayed seed dispersal species were recorded (15.0% of 307 studied species) and the highest incidence occurred in the Fabaceae family (17.4%). Delayed seed dispersal species were predominantly perennial plants (73.9%) with spatial restricted dispersal (67.4%), which released seed in the dry season (45.7%). The dominant groups of delayed seed dispersal species were persistent fruits species and synaptospermy (28.3%). All graminoids showed persistent lignified fruits, while prostrate annuals were basicarpic species with myxospermy. Sandy habitats had the highest number of delayed seed dispersal species (54.3%), whereas salt flats had the lowest (23.9%). In the desert of the UAE, delayed seed dispersal species spread seeds until the end of the dry and windy season, thus breaking seed dormancy at this time and ensuring seed germination in the next arrival of the rainy season. This morphological and ecological adaptation of delayed dispersal species is essential to the survival and sustainable development of vegetation in desert environments.
Arabian desert, delayed dispersal, restricted dispersal, persistent fruits, seed release time, myxospermy, synaptospermy
NAVARRO, Teresa; SHABANA, Hatem A.; EL-KEBLAWY, Ali; and HIDALGO-TRIANA, Noelia
"Delayed seed dispersal species and related traits in the desert of the United Arab Emirates,"
Journal of Arid Land: Vol. 13
, Article 7.
Available at: https://egijournals.researchcommons.org/journal-of-arid-land/vol13/iss9/7