Dispersal ecology is a scientific theory concerning how plants disperse their seeds, either from plants that have a very long life span, or from plants that are too young to live for human beings. Dispersal of seeds and pollen are important functions of many plant species, with multiple ecological, population and genetic implications. To illustrate, consider that when a tree needs to spread seeds to many different locations, it has to start off by dispersing a seed into a relatively open space. The probability of spreading seeds effectively increases if the seed has a large enough area, or large enough time to travel the distance.
The ecological consequences of these kinds of phenomena are well known. In fact, there are two very distinct aspects of dispersal ecology. One of them concerns the movement of seeds through the air, while the other concerns the movement of seeds through water.
A seed can only disperse when it comes into contact with a surface of some sort, such as soil, dirt or grass. When a seed comes into contact with a smooth surface, like a rock or gravel, it will settle down and become suspended. As long as there is sufficient water around, this kind of seed will continue to move slowly through the air until it eventually lands on something hard. It may have a rough landing, but it will survive and grow. However, if the seed lands on a rough surface, it will not be able to survive and will instead sink down and become dismembered.
Dispersal ecology is also concerned with the dispersal of seeds through water. Seeds will not grow in water unless they are able to tolerate the conditions, and only then will they be able to take root. Most of the time, when a seed comes into contact with a liquid surface, it will sink to the bottom of the liquid. Some seeds, however, will swim, so they will try to stick to solid surfaces.
Once the seed touches a surface, it will need to travel through water before it can break through and make its way out of the ground. At this point, it will either break into a larger size, or it will break apart into small pieces. If it breaks into smaller pieces, it will be less dense and therefore can pass through the soil more easily. On the other hand, if the seed breaks apart into large pieces, it will be less dense and will have a much smaller diameter.
Dispersal ecology has been shown to have profound biological, environmental and genetic implications. Its study is crucial to many natural habitats, including deserts and forests. By understanding the basic principles of dispersion, researchers have been able to learn about the various species that inhabit certain areas, and what kinds of organisms might be able to occupy those areas.