Great Basin Naturalist


Limber pine (Pinus flexilis James) seeds are usually wingless but occasionally have short, stubby wings. To determine the effectiveness of these wings in slowing seed descent, rates of fall were determined before and after wing removal. A similar experiment was conducted with seeds of Himalayan blue pine (P. griffithii McClelland), a white pine with typically long seed wings. The short wings of limber pine seeds were found to influence rate of seed fall far less than the wings of Himalayan blue pine. This is consistent with evidence suggesting that limber pine seeds are not effectively dispersed by wind but are dependent for dispersal on Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana).