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Hygroscopic awns of two prairie grasses, Andropogon gerardii and Sorghastrum nutans

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The prairie grasses Andropogon gerardii and Sorghastrum nutans have seeds with awns that twist in response to changes in humidity. The humidity-sensitive, or hygroscopic, part of the awn twists, moving the bent, passive portion in an arc. This trait has been demonstrated to improve seedling recruitment in other grass species by dispersing the seeds to superior microsites.

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  • 12/01/2017
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