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Alex Studies Botany


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Alex Studies Botany

Postby alextemplet » Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:21 pm

In order to gain honors credit in my biology course this summer, I've taken on extra work which will involve writing a paper and a presentation which will be a survey of the plant kingdom. I will also include in my survey green algae, as they are beginning to be grouped with plants in the kingdom Viridiplantae. I would like to know if anyone knows of some good sources to research botany, especially websited where I can find scientific papers. I am not allowed to use websites as sources, but I am allowed to find research papers online to use as sources. I'll be using my textbook and other books as sources, but I'm especially interested to find the latest papers written on the subject in order to have the most up-to-date information possible.

I've only just gotten started, but here's a general outline that I put together this morning:

I. Introduction
A. Basic Characteristics of Plants
B. Evolution of Plants
II. Phyla
A. Green Algae
1. Chlorophyta
2. Charophyta
B. Nonvascular Plants
1. Bryophyta
2. Hepaticophyta
3. Anthocerophyta
C. Seedless Vascular Plants
1. Pterophyta
2. Lycophyta
D. Seed Plants
1. Gingkophyta
2. Gnetophyta
3. Cycadophyta
4. Coniferophyta
5. Anthrophyta
III. Plant Form
A. Roots
B. Stems
C. Leaves
IV. Plant Function
A. Transport
B. Nutrition
C. Defense
D. Senses
V. Life Cycle
A. Reproduction
B. Development

Obviously this is only a rough and very basic outline, and I will develop it more over the course of the weekend. However, I would appreciate any critique that anyone can offer, especially verifying whether or not I've gotten the number and names of phyla correct.

The reason I chose plants as my subject is because plants are not often given as much consideration as animals, and so I thought this should be a very interesting opportunity to broaden my knowledge on a subject where I know little. That's why I'm interested to know if anyone can point towards any good sources; I'm eager to learn all I can! If my paper and presentation gets a good enough grade at the end of the semester, perhaps I'll submit it to the archives here so others can benefit from my research as well.

As always, thanks in advance for any sources or criticisms anyone can provide!
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Postby MichaelXY » Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:11 pm

Wow, that sounds like a big endevor. This may give you a starting point.

So how is school?
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Postby MrMistery » Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:58 pm

the first thing i see is you lack a distinct chapter on flower anatomy. In part III i suppose you work only on flowering plants, so i would divide it into vegetative organs and reproductive organs.
Also, a good idea would be to put an introduction at the beginning about taxonomic methods(classic/molecular/polyphasic). I don't know if you are intending to do this, but i think it might be a good idea.
Also, i am not up to date on this, but from what i know Hepaticophyta are now called Marchantiophyta, as each division is called from an organism.
About the physiology function, and especially the nutrition chapter, i would advise you orient it on a what-plants-can-do-that-animals-can't perspective, focusing on what makes plants autotrophs.

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Postby alextemplet » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:05 pm

I wrote that outline based on the outline in my textbook, which is a few years old and thus probably not the most up-to-date source. In class we covered flowers as well as other tissues extensively; flowers are a modified leaf structure so I could cover them under leaves. However, I am now thinking it would be useful to focus more on tissues (epiderm, endoderm, and ground) rather than organs (leaves, roots, stems).

I have intentionally been delaying work on this project until we finished covering plants in my class, since I wanted to learn a little bit about what my subject before I start work. Now that we're finished with plants, I'll probably get some serious work going this weekend.

My professor outlined my general task as surveing the plant kingdom by describing the major phyla. A brief overview of taxonomic methods would be helpful (thanks for the idea!), especially since plants are now beginning to be grouped with green algae in a new kingdom called viridiplantae. I am wondering if it might be better to have two main parts, the first being a general overview of plant structures and functions and the second being descriptions of the actual phyla themselves. I do not know if contrasting plants with animals will be very useful since my main task is to describe the various phyla; I think it might be better to describe how the phyla are different or similar to each other instead.

Thanks for the input. I have a four-day weekend coming up for Independence Day so hopefully I'll get some good progress made.
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Re: Alex Studies Botany

Postby DrD » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:30 pm

a good starting point to get scientific papers (for free instead of the insane 20$ you have to pay on most sites to get those papers which have been paid for by public money in the first place --- and I should know: I am a scientist so I write the damn things !)

try this : google scholar

Basically, it is a filter on google that removes all the not-serious sites and only gets you scientific papers from peer reviewed journals. You won't always get access to the pdf, but in that case you will at least be able to read the abstract. From there on, two options

1) the e-mail of the author is in full view. Easy as pie : ask politely for a pdf reprint (explain what it is for) normally you will get a fast reply - scientists are like most authors : they LOVE when people want to read their papers

2) just the name of the author is apparent, and his/her university. If the paper is recent, you should be able to hunt from your prey in, a site that lists all universities in the world (yes, even those in Romania Mr Mystery). From the website of the university, most of the time you can get the email of scientists. You are then back to step (1)

Good hunt !


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