Lift-off velocity of diaspores during secondary wind dispersal varies with particle size of the underlying surface matrix

Lu Zong, Wei Liang, Zhimin Liu, Minghu Liu, Carol C. Baskin, Jerry M. Baskin, Liang Tian, Xiangrong Li, Zhiming Xin, Wentao Luo, Zhigang Wang, Quanlai Zhou, Xuanping Qin, Shanshan Zhai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: All secondary dispersal by wind, important for predicting, modeling and regulating diaspore dispersal processes, and for biodiversity conservation and vegetation restoration, is influenced by underlying surface matrix. But little is known about how matrix determines diaspore secondary dispersal. Here we focus on how lift-off velocity, good proxy for secondary dispersal of seeds by wind, is linked to the underlying surface matrix. Methods: We investigated the effect of the underlying surface matrix on diaspore lift-off velocity in a wind tunnel. Our study used 11 matrix types with different particle size, including four pure substrates (loam, aeolian sand, river sand, gravel) and seven mixtures thereof and diaspores of 28 species differing in length, width, height, mass, projected area, shape index, wing loading, and terminal velocity. Results: Diaspores were more easily dispersed from loam, aeolian sand and river sand than from the gravel substrates. For mixed matrices, lift-off velocity was closer to that of the small-sized than of the large-sized component of the substrate. Underlying surface matrix contributed more to diaspore dispersal by wind than diaspore attributes. In addition to wing loading, terminal velocity, and projected area also were important diaspore attributes determining lift-off velocity of the diaspores. Conclusion: Lift-off velocity of diaspores is influenced by particle size of underlying surface matrix during secondary wind dispersal: lift-off velocity is the largest on large-sized particles for pure matrices, and determined by the small-sized component for mixed matrices.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant and Soil
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Chao qun Ba, Xinle Li, Ruibing Duan and Yongjun Lv for assistance with seed collection and field experiments and the Experimental Center of Desert Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry and the First Forestry Station for providing accommodation for us during the experiment. This study was supported financially by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31770504, 42007427 and 31971732) and the Science and Technology Plan Project of Liaoning Province (2020JH1/10300006).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Diaspore initiation
  • Diaspore morphology
  • Mixed matrix
  • Pure matrix
  • Wind tunnel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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