Myrmecochory is the relationship between spring ephemeral’s reliance on ants to disperse their seeds. Myrmecochory derives from the Greek term “myrmex”, which means ant. Certain structures of the ephemeral seeds are high in lipids and proteins which attracts the ants. The ants bring the seeds back to their nests and consume these tasty structures. After snacking, they bring the seeds to the surface and deposit them on their trash piles, where the seeds then germinate in a rich organic seedbed. How fascinating!!
Our natural ecosystems are so interconnected that everything in them relies on each other. These relationships are amazing and are what drives arborists, ecologists, and environmental professionals in their careers!