After fertilisation, seeds will form. It is important for the seeds to be spread (dispersed)away from each other and from the parent plant. This helps to avoid overcrowding and thecompetition for light, water and mineral salts that would result. Dispersal also enablesspecies to take advantage of new opportunities and to survive if conditions for the parentplant become unsuitable.Plants have a variety of ways in which they disperse their seeds, or the fruits containingthe seeds. Four main groups of dispersal mechanisms can be recognised: animal, wind,water and self-dispersal. The size, shape and colour of the fruit and seed, together withother features, reflect the method of dispersal.