INTRO TO BOTANY
Botany - the scientific study of plants and "plant-like" organisms Plants are absolutely essential to the continued existence of life on earth
Autotrophic - “self-feeding"
Green plants are autotrophic - they make their own food in photosynthesis
Photosynthesis - CO2 + H2O + light > food (sugars) + O2 Animals are heterotrophic (“other-feeding”) - dependent on plants as energy source
Plants (autotrophs) are primary producers - base of food chains CO2 is a greenhouse gas - it absorbs and holds heat in the atmosphere, plants help control CO2
Plants absorb carbon and store it in their bodies. This is why they can serve as food for other organisms and why we can use them as sources of energy:
2. fossil fuels - energy was “fixed” by plants photosynthesizing when they’re alive 200-400 mya.
Plants serve as the source of non food materials, including medicine.
Aspirin was first contained from the bark of willow trees. Humans find plants aesthetically pleasing.
Knowledge about plants will greatly enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the natural world.
HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS OF BOTANY
Greek philosophers named and classified plants
Theophrastus - the “father of botany”, a student of Aristotle, wrote several books on plants, introduced several key concepts regarding plants:
The “parts” (organs) making up the body of a plant:
Stems - the elongated above ground axes of a plant body Leaves - organ that attaches to the side of a stem, often flattened
Roots - the elongated, below ground axes of a plant body Plant growth forms:
Tree - a woody plant with one main stem Don't forget about the age old question of What is the aufbau principle?
Shrub - a woody plant with more than one main stem Herb - non-woody plant
Vine - a plant that grows on something else for mechanical support, it doesn’t support itself Don't forget about the age old question of What is denoted by production possibility frontier?
Annual - a plant that lives for only one year or growing season. It reproduces (flowers) once, then dies.
Biennial - a plant that lives for two years or growing seasons. It reproduces (flowers) only in the second growing season, and then dies.
Perennial - a plant that lives for many years, reproducing (flowering) repeatedly. If you want to learn more check out What happens in a diels alder reaction?
Greeks and Romans were interested in knowing in plants because they used them as medicines.
The medicinal use of plants was the primary impetus to the early development of botany. If you want to learn more check out How to reproduce sound to record it and play it back?
Dioscorides - doctor in the Roman army in the first century A.D., his book Materia Medica, was the primary reference for physicians for over 1500 years
Books by ancient master were copied and passed from generation to generation, especially in monasteries.
Doctrine of Signatures: if a plant resembles a part of the body, it can be used to treat ailments of that part of the body.
Change in attitude and orientation beginning in the late 15th century - more direct observation of plants, rather than just accepting what ancient masters had written
Development of the printing press in the 1450s led to the proliferation of herbals - books describing plants and their medicinal uses (what they look like, where they grow, how ti use them as medicine)
Development of lenses and microscopes led to more detailed info about the “hidden world"
NAMING AND CLASSIFYING PLANTS We also discuss several other topics like How you will sanitize/clean your plant?
2 types of names given to organisms:
3. Common name - names used in everyday colloquial language 4. Scientific name - names used in formal scientific communication Problems with common names:
1. Different kinds of plants can have the same common name, leading to confusion.
2. The same plant can have more than one common name, which leads to confusion.
To prevent such confusion, botanists use “scientific names: Use of scientific name dates from Europe in the Middle Ages; names are all in Latin (italicized).
Convention in middle ages: Genus + descriptive phase Scientific names simplified by a Swedish botanist, Carlous Linnaeus, in his 1753 book Species Planetarium. He introduced the binomial system: Genus + 1 word
Scientific name format - name is italicized, Genus is capitalized but the species epithet is not.
Closely related species are grouped together in the same genus. Similarly, closely related genera are grouped together in the same family.
Hierarchy of Classification - species are grouped into larger and larger groups to indicate relatedness. We also discuss several other topics like What are the socio-cultural causes of sexual dysfunction?
1. D. Archaea - cells lack nuclei
2. D. Bacteria - cells lack nuclei
3. D. Eukarya - cells w nuclei
Domain Eukarya broken into 4 kingdoms:
1. K. Protista (protists) - “simple” organisms with mix of plant like and animal like characteristics. e.g. protozoans (amoeba), algae 2. K. Plantae (plants) - photosynthetic organisms w complex multicellular bodies
3. K. Fungi (fungi) - plant like organisms that are heterotrophic e.g. mushrooms and molds
4. K. Animalia (animals) - heterotrophic organisms with complex, multicellular bodies