Seed dispersal refers to the transport of seeds (typically found in fruits), away from the main plant by a number of dispersal modes. These modes may include one or a combination of gravity, wind, water or animals.
Seed dispersal has several advantages for the plant:
- protection from predation
- better survival areas
- less competition
The biggest advantage is safety from predators. Typically, predators attack the areas of biggest concentration of a particular species, thus, a transport away from the parent plant offers safety to the seed.
Similarly, dispersal offers an opportunity for providing a more suitable environment for the seed (typically offered by transport of seeds by animals).
Another advantages is the reduction in competition that exists between the adult plant and the seed. Seeds that develop under the adult plants are denied sunlight and nutrients and thus face stiff competition for survival.
Overall, seed dispersal enables the availability of plants over a larger area and higher chances of survival and growth.