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Plants and People PBIO Week 1 Notes

by: Abbey Marshall

Plants and People PBIO Week 1 Notes PBIO 1030

Marketplace > Ohio University > PBIO 1030 > Plants and People PBIO Week 1 Notes
Abbey Marshall
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About this Document

Clicker quizzes and exams
Plants and People
Dr. Thompson
Class Notes
plant, Biology, Ethnobotany




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Abbey Marshall on Thursday September 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PBIO 1030 at Ohio University taught by Dr. Thompson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 29 views.


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Date Created: 09/15/16
Week 1 Notes Monday, August 22, 2016 (Readings: Syllabus; People & Plants, pages 1-7) 1. Explain how your grade will be determined in Plants & People.  Clicker quizzes and assignments (10%)  Mean score for in-class group assignments (5%)  Group blog and comments (10%)  Exams (75%) 2. Describe the attendance policy for Plants & People.  There will be no make-up quizzes or tests (but the lowest will be dropped).  Work together with professor if there are special circumstances (health, etc.), but there needs to be documentation. 3. Describe how the plant, Rauvolfia serpentine has been used by people living in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains and in other parts of India. Explain how it got the name, “snakeroot.”  People in the Himalayan Mountains discovered the plant’s roots, if given to someone who was bitten by a snake, would serve as an antidote to a snakebite.  Rauvolfia, the name of the genus, references the sixteenth century physician and botanist Leonhare Rauwolf, while serpentina, the name of the species, is a nod to the snakelike appearance of its root.  The history of snakeroot is well documented. o Rig Veda:  Oldest document describing medicinal use of plants 4500-1600 BC  Veda: Knowledge 4. Explain how Rauvolfia serpentina went from being a traditional medicine to becoming a valued medicinal resource in western cultures.  Locals began to spread word about the plant to nearby cultures, despite the lack of interest from Holland. Rumors began about the plant treating madness, insanity, epilepsy, insomnia (called the “insanity cure”). Indians used R. serpentina to treat anxiety, insomnia, and madness.  In 1931, Indian chemists discovered the plant’s powder both had a hypnotic effect and lowered blood pressure. Again, this was ignored by Western scientists.  1949 Swiss chemist Emil Schlittler read a study about the plant and began to extract from the roots an alkaloid with his colleague, Hans Schwarz.  The two discovered that low oral doses of the reserpine (0.1 mg per kg body weight) reduced blood pressure.  CIBA soon introduced reserpine under the name Serpasil. Unlike other blood-pressure reducing medications at the time that constricted blood vessels, Reserpine had a direct effect on the hypothalamus.  After a 1954 convention in New York, Reserpine became the first major drug to treat hypertension in the Western World.  Originally, Reserpine was extracted from the root of the plant. Now, it is synthesized in a lab in order to tweak the chemical compounds to subside side effects and because it is more sustainable. 5. Define these terms: ethnobotany; indigenous peoples. 
  Ethnobotany: the study of the relationships between plants and people o “ethno”, the study of people o “botany”, the study of plants  Indigenous peoples: refers to peoples who follow traditional, nonindustrial, lifestyles in areas that they have occupied for generations 6. Describe some difference in plant use and awareness by indigenous cultures compared to industrialized societies, giving examples from the reading.  In indigenous cultures, the link between production and consumption are more direct than in Western culture, therefore they understand the origins of products and perhaps how they were made. o Example: Not only can Westerns probably cannot describe how to produce a pencil accurately, but companies that manufacture different components of pencils do not understand how others parts are made or fit together. In indigenous cultures, compartmentalized knowledge like this is rare. They can refer someone to a local expert who has a wholesome knowledge.  Indigenous cultures can sometimes represent living analogues of prehistorical stages of Western civilizations. o Archeologists can explore hypotheses about the hunter- gatherer phase of early Europe by studying the lifestyles of modern hunter-gathers. We cannot be sure how close such analogies are, but they can be useful.  Indigenous cultures retain much knowledge concerning plants that Western people have largely lost due to the necessity of that maintained knowledge of plants in order to produce: o Medicines o Textiles o Plant cultivation strategies  Indigenous people live in some of the most sensitive ecosystems on the planet and due to their centuries of knowledge, can inform current debate about conservation. They care about these ecosystems.  Indigenous peoples are vulnerable to rapid economic and cultural change. Understanding traditional ways, including uses of plants, can point to strategies. 
 Wednesday, August 24, 2016 (Reading: People & Plants, PDF pages 6-14) 1. Describe the ecological disparities that exist between plants and animals.  Plants are able to transform atmospheric gas into nutrients for life.  Plants outweigh all animals by a factor of at least 10.  Plants are also vast factories of chemical diversity.  Plants produce, animals consume. 2. Explain how plant-animal interactions lead to useful products for humans.  All animals, including people, depend on consumption for lives. It’s the food animals eat that determines their position in the ecological community.  We rely on plants to nourish us, as well as the animals we consume or use for products. 3. Name 10 different products or ways that humans depend on plants.  The intake of carbon dioxide (primary)  The production of oxygen (primary)  Food/agriculture (secondary)  Shelter (primary)  Opiates to calm nervous systems (secondary)  Sweetening agents to enhance diets (secondary)  Thatch for huts (primary)  Timbers for boats (primary)  Fibers for cordage (primary)  Textiles and dyes to color them (secondary) 4. Describe the types of evidence that inform us about historical use of plants and plant products. 
  Stone etchings  Clay moldings  Oral tales  Written tales 5. Describe where and how Richard Schultes, an ethnobotanist, studied the plant use of indigenous cultures. 
  Harvard student writing about the peyote cactus for his senior thesis.  His advisor insisted that Schultes have first-hand field experience, so in 1937, he journeyed to Oklahoma to study with the Kiowa Indians and learn about their ceremonial use of the tiny cactus.  His doctoral research took him to Mexico in search of the sacred mushroom of the Aztecs as the first botanist to record the rituals and beliefs about the mushroom.  After receiving his Ph.D. in 1941, he journeyed to the Amazon to study the tribal peoples’ rituals.  Despite the beginning of World War II, the government wanted him to return to the rainforest to explore if the rubber the Allies needed could be supplied from wild trees in the Amazon. Friday, August 26, 2016 (Reading: Ecosystem Services) 1. Define these terms: ecosystem, ecosystem services, biodiversity.  Ecosystem: a dynamic complex of plant, animal, and microorganism communities and the nonliving environment, interacting as a functional unit  Ecosystem services: the benefits people obtain from ecosystems  Biodiversity: the variability among living organisms (can influence the supply of ecosystem services) 2. Name the four categories of ecosystem services and describe the distinguishing feature of each. 
  Provisioning services: products obtained from ecosystems o Food and fiber o Fuel o Genetic resources o Biochemicals, natural medicines, pharmaceuticals o Ornamental resources o Fresh water  Regulating Services: the benefits obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes o Air quality maintenance o Climate regulation o Water regular o Erosion control o Water purification and waste treatment o Regulation of human diseases o Biological control o Pollination o Storm protection  Cultural Services: nonmaterial benefits people obtain from ecosystems through spiritual enrichment o Cultural diversity o Spiritual and religious values o Knowledge systems o Educational values o Inspiration o Aesthetic values o Social relations o Sense of place o Cultural heritage values o Recreation and ecotourism  Supporting Services: those that are necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services o Impacts on people either indirect or occur over a very long time o Differ for each service o Primary production o Production of atmospheric oxygen o Soil formation and retention o Nutrient cycling o Water cycling o Provisioning of habitat 3. For each category of ecosystem services, name at least one example that relies on plants. 
  See above 4. Describe how values of ecosystem services might be assessed and what factors could be considered in determining values. 
  Ecosystem functions: physical, chemical, and biological processes or attributes that contribute to the self-maintenance of an ecosystem (what an ecosystem does)  Ecosystem services: beneficial outcomes 5. Describe what types of ecosystem services are public goods and evaluate whether and how these should be protected. 
  Public goods: they may be enjoyed by any number of people without affecting other peoples’ enjoyment. o Example: aesthetic view. No matter how many people enjoy the view, others can also enjoy it.  Public views should be protected since they are beneficial to all. 6. Distinguish between use and non-use values and be able to correctly classify examples of each.  Use values: the value derived from the actual use of a good or service o Hunting, fishing, hiking, birdwatching  Non-use values: values that are not associated with actual use or even the option to use a good or service o Also known as “passive use” o “existence value” is a non-use value that people place on simply knowing that something exists, even if they will never see or use it


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