Gone with the wind and the stream: dispersal in the invasive species Ailanthus altissima Articles uri icon

publication date

  • May 2016

start page

  • 31

end page

  • 37


  • 73

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1146-609X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-6238


  • Dispersal is a key process in plant invasions and is strongly related to diaspore morphology. Often, dispersal comprises more than one step, and morphologies adapted to a primary dispersal mechanism can aid or detract from a secondary one. The aim of this work was to assess the relationship between primary wind dispersal and secondary water dispersal in Ailanthus altissima, an invasive tree species. Wind and water dispersal potential and their association with the morphological characteristics of samaras were assessed under controlled conditions to ensure the repeatability of the measurements. We found a direct positive relationship between primary wind and secondary water dispersal in A. altissima. The main morphological characteristics of the samara that affected the success of the two types of dispersal were side perimeter and mass.


  • Botany
  • Mathematics


  • anemochory; hydrochory; primary dispersal; repeatability; samara; secondary dispersal