Anthropochory

anthropochory

[¦an·thrə·pə¦kȯr·ē]
(ecology)
Dispersal of plant and animal disseminules by humans.

Anthropochory

 

the dispersal of plants with the involuntary participation of man. Such plants, anthropo-chores, often travel beyond the boundaries of their natural area of distribution and become acclimatized to new conditions. The term “anthropochore” usually refers to weeds, ruderals, and other plants dispersed by various means: for example, by seed transport, or agestokhoriia, by transportation with cultivated plants, or speirokhoriia; and by the scattering of seeds into the soil with cultivating implements, or ergaziokhoriia. Many anthropochores have developed specialized adaptations for seed dispersal. For example, the seeds of weeds dispersed together with a cultivated crop mature at the same time as seeds of the crop, whose growth they hinder; the seeds of weeds also share a variety of similarities with those of cultivated crops. These adaptations sometimes give grounds for distinguishing such forms as new systematic categories, such as varieties or species, adapted for growing among a certain crop, such as the weeds that grow with flax. Of the numerous anthropochores of flora in the USSR, the most widely distributed are ragweed, a persistent annual weed introduced from North America in a cultivated crop in the 19th century; Kew weed, a flower garden weed which often grows along railroad beds and which was introduced from Mexico into Western Europe in the 18th century and then from Western Europe into Russia by Napoleon’s troops; and Iva xan-thifolia, native to North America, which was dispersed from the Kiev Botanical Garden in 1870. Sometimes the term “an-thropochory” is more broadly understood and applied also to cultivated plants consciously spread by man.

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This frequent anthropochory and synanthropy, absence from most islands, and high morphological and genetic similarity of the studied populations from Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Greece and Turkey, all suggest that the dispersal of E.