For my chemistry class each semester we have to e mail a
scientist and ask them a question. If you could please
take some time and answer my question that woudl be great!
When seeds from trees fall, why don't new trees grow with each fallen seed?
Seed viability depends upon multiple factors.
Anthony R. Brach
There are several reasons seeds don't always germinate. Not all seeds are
viable - some will die even under the best of conditions. Seeds that fall
off of trees do not always experience the best of conditions. Some are
eaten by animals, such as mice, squirrels, and insects. Some never get
enough water to sprout. Some begin to sprout, and then dry out or are
eaten. Some, when they sprout, cannot put their roots into good soil.
Some are deprived of nutrients and sunlight by other plants growing nearby.
In the end, only a very small fraction of the seeds from a tree become
established trees themselves.
Richard Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
This is a good question for you to attempt to give ideas as to the reason
every seed which falls from a tree does not result in a seedling. Please
offer your ideas here, and we can then offer some ideas you may not have
Thanks for using NEWTON!
Richard R. Rupnik
Lost seeds are eaten before they get a chance to germinate. Many of the
larger seeds, like acorns and other nuts, may be eaten by insect larvae
before they even fall from the tree; those that mature before they fall are
food for many different kinds of animals. Only a lucky few will germinate
and grow a new tree.
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Update: June 2012