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Spore Dispersal Questions

Question 1

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Answer 1

In broad terms, a spore that is plain and smooth is dispersed in air. If the spore is carried in a gel or mucilage, then the spores may be dispersed in water, or on an animal. Spores that are carried on water tend to be highly divided, with a large surface area to volume ratio, and a waxy surface. Spores with a series of hooked projections are possibly carried by animals.


Question 2

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Answer 2

Generally, the spores require protection from UV radiation so will have melanised walls. The walls must protect the spore from desiccation, so will be thick. Finally, the spore must be light enough to be carried in the air stream. It will probably be washed from the air, though deposition is also possible.


Question 3

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Answer 3

No. Many spores and spore clusters are so heavy, that once ejected will fall back, regardless of the air current.


Question 4

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Answer 4

The spores may either be washed away in rainfall or carried by a flying insect. It is most unlikely that the spores will become wind blown. One such fungus is found in forests in the winter following fire. The fungi form ectomycorrhizas. The sporocarps appear just at the surface of the soil. In this case, the spores are usually splashed away from the sporocarp by rain. However, as the spores are also in a sticky matrix, arthropods may disperse them.


Question 5

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Answer 5



Question 6

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Answer 6



Question 7

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Answer 7