Plants are multicellular, predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the kingdom Plantae. Plants were treated as one of two kingdoms including all living things that were not animals, all algae and fungi were treated as plants. However, all current definitions of Plantae exclude the fungi and some algae, as well as the prokaryotes. By one definition, plants form the clade Viridiplantae, a group that includes the flowering plants and other gymnosperms and their allies, liverworts and the green algae, but excludes the red and brown algae. Green plants obtain most of their energy from sunlight via photosynthesis by primary chloroplasts that are derived from endosymbiosis with cyanobacteria, their chloroplasts contain b, which gives them their green color. Some plants are parasitic or mycotrophic and have lost the ability to produce normal amounts of chlorophyll or to photosynthesize. Plants are characterized by sexual reproduction and alternation of generations, although asexual reproduction is common.
There are about 320 thousand species of plants, of which the great majority, some 260–290 thousand, are seed plants. Green plants provide a substantial proportion of the world's molecular oxygen and are the basis of most of Earth's ecosystems on land. Plants that produce grain and vegetables form humankind's basic foods, have been domesticated for millennia. Plants have many cultural and other uses, as ornaments, building materials, writing material and, in great variety, they have been the source of medicines and psychoactive drugs; the scientific study of plants is known as a branch of biology. All living things were traditionally placed into one of two groups and animals; this classification may date from Aristotle, who made the distincton between plants, which do not move, animals, which are mobile to catch their food. Much when Linnaeus created the basis of the modern system of scientific classification, these two groups became the kingdoms Vegetabilia and Animalia. Since it has become clear that the plant kingdom as defined included several unrelated groups, the fungi and several groups of algae were removed to new kingdoms.
However, these organisms are still considered plants in popular contexts. The term "plant" implies the possession of the following traits multicellularity, possession of cell walls containing cellulose and the ability to carry out photosynthesis with primary chloroplasts; when the name Plantae or plant is applied to a specific group of organisms or taxon, it refers to one of four concepts. From least to most inclusive, these four groupings are: Another way of looking at the relationships between the different groups that have been called "plants" is through a cladogram, which shows their evolutionary relationships; these are not yet settled, but one accepted relationship between the three groups described above is shown below. Those which have been called "plants" are in bold; the way in which the groups of green algae are combined and named varies between authors. Algae comprise several different groups of organisms which produce food by photosynthesis and thus have traditionally been included in the plant kingdom.
The seaweeds range from large multicellular algae to single-celled organisms and are classified into three groups, the green algae, red algae and brown algae. There is good evidence that the brown algae evolved independently from the others, from non-photosynthetic ancestors that formed endosymbiotic relationships with red algae rather than from cyanobacteria, they are no longer classified as plants as defined here; the Viridiplantae, the green plants – green algae and land plants – form a clade, a group consisting of all the descendants of a common ancestor. With a few exceptions, the green plants have the following features in common, they undergo closed mitosis without centrioles, have mitochondria with flat cristae. The chloroplasts of green plants are surrounded by two membranes, suggesting they originated directly from endosymbiotic cyanobacteria. Two additional groups, the Rhodophyta and Glaucophyta have primary chloroplasts that appear to be derived directly from endosymbiotic cyanobacteria, although they differ from Viridiplantae in the pigments which are used in photosynthesis and so are different in colour.
These groups differ from green plants in that the storage polysaccharide is floridean starch and is stored in the cytoplasm rather than in the plastids. They appear to have had a common origin with Viridiplantae and the three groups form the clade Archaeplastida, whose name implies that their chloroplasts were derived from a single ancient endosymbiotic event; this is the broadest modern definition of the term'plant'. In contrast, most other algae not only have different pigments but have chloroplasts with three or four surrounding membranes, they are not close relatives of the Archaeplastida having acquired chloroplasts separately from ingested or symbiotic green and red algae. They are thus not included in the broadest modern definition of the plant kingdom, although they were in the past; the green plants or Viridiplantae were traditionally divided into the green algae (including
The tribe Epidendreae of the Orchidaceae comprises six subtribes: Bletiinae sensu MMIV, which contains only the genera Basiphyllaea and Hexalectris Chysinae Coeliinae Laeliinae Pleurothallidinae Ponerinae
Asparagales is an order of plants in modern classification systems such as the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group and the Angiosperm Phylogeny Web. The order takes its name from the type family Asparagaceae and is placed in the monocots amongst the lilioid monocots; the order has only been recognized in classification systems. It was first put forward by Huber in 1977 and taken up in the Dahlgren system of 1985 and the APG in 1998, 2003 and 2009. Before this, many of its families were assigned to the old order Liliales, a large order containing all monocots with colourful tepals and lacking starch in their endosperm. DNA sequence analysis indicated that many of the taxa included in Liliales should be redistributed over three orders, Liliales and Dioscoreales; the boundaries of the Asparagales and of its families have undergone a series of changes in recent years. In the APG circumscription, Asparagales is the largest order of monocots with 14 families, 1,122 genera, about 36,000 species; the order is circumscribed on the basis of molecular phylogenetics, but is difficult to define morphologically, since its members are structurally diverse.
Most species of Asparagales are herbaceous perennials, although some are climbers and some are tree-like. The order contains many geophytes. According to telomere sequence, at least two evolutionary switch-points happened within the order. Basal sequence is formed by TTTAGGG like in majority of higher plants. Basal motif was changed to vertebrate-like TTAGGG and the most divergent motif CTCGGTTATGGG appears in Allium. One of the defining characteristics of the order is the presence of phytomelanin, a black pigment present in the seed coat, creating a dark crust. Phytomelanin is found in most families of the Asparagales; the leaves of all species form a tight rosette, either at the base of the plant or at the end of the stem, but along the stem. The flowers are not distinctive, being'lily type', with six tepals and up to six stamina; the order is thought to have first diverged from other related monocots some 120–130 million years ago, although given the difficulty in classifying the families involved, estimates are to be uncertain.
From an economic point of view, the order Asparagales is second in importance within the monocots to the order Poales. Species are used as food and flavourings, as cut flowers, as garden ornamentals. Although most species in the order are herbaceous, some no more than 15 cm high, there are a number of climbers, as well as several genera forming trees, which can exceed 10 m in height. Succulent genera occur in several families. All species have a tight cluster of leaves, either at the base of the plant or at the end of a more-or-less woody stem as with Yucca. In some cases the leaves are produced along the stem; the flowers are in the main not distinctive, being of a general'lily type', with six tepals, either free or fused from the base and up to six stamina. They are clustered at the end of the plant stem; the Asparagales are distinguished from the Liliales by the lack of markings on the tepals, the presence of septal nectaries in the ovaries, rather than the bases of the tepals or stamen filaments, the presence of secondary growth.
They are geophytes, but with linear leaves, a lack of fine reticular venation. The seeds characteristically have the external epidermis either obliterated, or if present, have a layer of black carbonaceous phytomelanin in species with dry fruits; the inner part of the seed coat is collapsed, in contrast to Liliales whose seeds have a well developed outer epidermis, lack phytomelanin, display a cellular inner layer. The orders which have been separated from the old Liliales are difficult to characterize. No single morphological character appears to be diagnostic of the order Asparagales; the flowers of Asparagales are of a general type among the lilioid monocots. Compared to Liliales, they have plain tepals without markings in the form of dots. If nectaries are present, they are in the septa of the ovaries rather than at the base of the tepals or stamens; those species which have large dry seeds have a dark, crust-like outer layer containing the pigment phytomelan. However, some species with hairy seeds, berries, or reduced seeds lack this dark pigment in their seed coats.
Phytomelan is not unique to Asparagales but it is common within the order and rare outside it. The inner portion of the seed coat is completely collapsed. In contrast, the morphologically similar seeds of Liliales have no phytomelan, retain a cellular structure in the inner portion of the seed coat. Most monocots are unable to thicken their stems once they have formed, since they lack the cylindrical meristem present in other angiosperm groups. Asparagales have a method of secondary thickening, otherwise only found inDioscorea. In a process called'anomalous secondary growth', they are able to create new
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Natural Resources Conservation Service known as the Soil Conservation Service, is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture that provides technical assistance to farmers and other private landowners and managers. Its name was changed in 1994 during the presidency of Bill Clinton to reflect its broader mission, it is a small agency comprising about 12,000 employees. Its mission is to improve and conserve natural resources on private lands through a cooperative partnership with state and local agencies. While its primary focus has been agricultural lands, it has made many technical contributions to soil surveying and water quality improvement. One example is the Conservation Effects Assessment Project, set up to quantify the benefits of agricultural conservation efforts promoted and supported by programs in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. NRCS is the leading agency in this project; the agency was founded through the efforts of Hugh Hammond Bennett, a soil conservation pioneer who worked for the Department of Agriculture from 1903 to 1952.
Bennett's motivation was based on his knowledge of the detrimental effects of soil erosion and the impacts on U. S lands. On September 13, 1933, the Soil Erosion Service was formed in the Department of the Interior, with Bennett as chief; the service was transferred to the Department of Agriculture on March 23, 1935, was shortly thereafter combined with other USDA units to form the Soil Conservation Service by the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act of 1935. The Soil Conservation Service was in charge of 500 Civilian Conservation Corps camps between 1933 and 1942; the primary purpose of these camps was erosion control. Hugh Bennett continued as chief, a position he held until his retirement in 1952. On October 20, 1994, the agency was renamed to the Natural Resources Conservation Service as part of the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994. NRCS offers financial assistance to farmers and ranchers; the financial assistance is authorized by the Farm Bill, a law, renewed every five years.
The 2014 Farm Bill consolidated 23 programs into 15. NRCS offers these services to private land owners, conservation districts and other types of organizations. NRCS collects and shares information on the nation's soil, water and plants; the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill provides the funding to agricultural producers, a conservation plan must be included. All of these programs are voluntary; the main programs include: The purpose of EQIP is to provide assistance to landowners to help them improve their soil and related natural resources, including grazing lands and wildlife habitat. Conservation Stewardship Program CSP is targeted to a producers who maintain a higher level of environmental stewardship. Regional Conservation Partnership Program RCPP consolidated four programs from the prior 2008 Farm Bill, it aims at more watershed scale projects, rather than individual farms and ranches. Agricultural Conservation Easement Program ACEP was another consolidation effort of the 2014 Farm Bill, which includes the former Grasslands Reserve Program and Ranch Lands Protection Program, Wetlands Reserve Program.
ACEP includes technical and financial help to maintain or improve land for agriculture or environmental benefits. Landowners volunteer to protect forests in 30 or 10 year contracts; this program hands assisting funds to participants. The objectives of HFRP are to: Promote the recovery of endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act Improve plant and animal biodiversity Enhance carbon sequestration Serves 10 states in the Midwest United States in helping to reduce Nitrate levels in soil due to runoff from fertilized farmland; the project began in 2010 and focused on the Mississippi Basin area. The main goal of the project is to implement better methods of managing water drainage from agricultural uses, in place of letting the water drain as it had done in the past. In October 2011, The National "Managing Water, Harvesting Results" Summit was held to promote the drainage techniques used in hopes of people adopting them nationwide. Includes water supply forecasts and the Surface Water Supply Index for Alaska and other Western states.
NRCS agents collect data from snowpack and mountain sites to predict spring runoff and summer streamflow amounts. These predictions are used in decision making for agriculture, wildlife management and development, several other areas; these predictions are available within the first 5 days of each month from January to June. Is a blanket program which involves conservation efforts on soil and water conservation, as well as management of agricultural wastes and general longterm sustainability. NRCS and related agencies work with landowners, communities, or developers to protect the environment. Serve to guide people to comply with acts such as the Highly Erodible Land and Conservation Compliance Provisions acts; the CTA can cover projects by state and federal governments. Is a program to assist gulf bordering states improve water quality and use sustainable methods of farming and other industry; the program will deliver up to 50 million dollars over 2011-2013 to apply these sustainable methods, as well as wildlife habitat management systems that do not hinder agricultural productivity, prevent future over use of water resources to protect native endangered spe
Ants are eusocial insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the Cretaceous period, about 140 million years ago, diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than 12,500 of an estimated total of 22,000 species have been classified, they are identified by their elbowed antennae and the distinctive node-like structure that forms their slender waists. Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. Larger colonies consist of various castes of sterile, wingless females, most of which are workers, as well as soldiers and other specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies have some fertile males called "drones" and one or more fertile females called "queens"; the colonies are described as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony.
Ants have colonised every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are a few remote or inhospitable islands. Ants thrive in most ecosystems and may form 15–25% of the terrestrial animal biomass, their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organisation and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, defend themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to mimetic, commensal and mutualistic relationships. Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals, an ability to solve complex problems; these parallels with human societies have long been an subject of study. Many human cultures make use of ants in cuisine and rituals; some species are valued in their role as biological pest control agents. Their ability to exploit resources may bring ants into conflict with humans, however, as they can damage crops and invade buildings; some species, such as the red imported fire ant, are regarded as invasive species, establishing themselves in areas where they have been introduced accidentally.
The word ant and its chiefly dialectal form emmet come from ante, emete of Middle English, which come from ǣmette of Old English, these are all related to the dialectal Dutch emt and the Old High German āmeiza, from which comes the modern German Ameise. All of these words come from West Germanic *ēmaitijǭ, the original meaning of the word was "the biter"; the family name Formicidae is derived from the Latin formīca from which the words in other Romance languages, such as the Portuguese formiga, Italian formica, Spanish hormiga, Romanian furnică, French fourmi are derived. It has been hypothesised that a Proto-Indo-European word *morwi- was used, cf. Sanskrit vamrah, Latin formīca, Greek μύρμηξ mýrmēx, Old Church Slavonic mraviji, Old Irish moirb, Old Norse maurr, Dutch mier; the family Formicidae belongs to the order Hymenoptera, which includes sawflies and wasps. Ants evolved from a lineage within the stinging wasps, a 2013 study suggests that they are a sister group of the Apoidea. In 1966, E. O. Wilson and his colleagues identified the fossil remains of an ant that lived in the Cretaceous period.
The specimen, trapped in amber dating back to around 92 million years ago, has features found in some wasps, but not found in modern ants. Sphecomyrma was a ground forager, while Haidomyrmex and Haidomyrmodes, related genera in subfamily Sphecomyrminae, are reconstructed as active arboreal predators. Older ants in the genus Sphecomyrmodes have been found in 99 million year-old amber from Myanmar. A 2006 study suggested that ants arose tens of millions of years earlier than thought, up to 168 million years ago. After the rise of flowering plants about 100 million years ago they diversified and assumed ecological dominance around 60 million years ago; some groups, such as the Leptanillinae and Martialinae, are suggested to have diversified from early primitive ants that were to have been predators underneath the surface of the soil. During the Cretaceous period, a few species of primitive ants ranged on the Laurasian supercontinent, they were scarce in comparison to the populations of other insects, representing only about 1% of the entire insect population.
Ants became dominant after adaptive radiation at the beginning of the Paleogene period. By the Oligocene and Miocene, ants had come to represent 20–40% of all insects found in major fossil deposits. Of the species that lived in the Eocene epoch, around one in 10 genera survive to the present. Genera surviving today comprise 56% of the genera in Baltic amber fossils, 92% of the genera in Dominican amber fossils. Termites live in colonies and are sometimes called ` white ants', they are the sub-order Isoptera, together with cockroaches they form the order Blattodea. Blattodeans are related to mantids and other winged insects that do not undergo full metamorphosis. Like ants, termites are eusocial, with sterile workers, but they differ in the genetics of reproduction; the similarity of their social structure to that of ants is attributed to convergent evolution. Velvet ants are wingless female wasps. Ants are found on all continents except Antarctica, only a few large islands, such as Greenland, parts of Polynesia and the Hawaiian Islands lack native ant species.
Ants occupy a wide range of ecological niches and exploit many different food resources as direct or
An epiphyte is an organism that grows on the surface of a plant and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, water or from debris accumulating around it. Epiphytes take part in nutrient cycles and add to both the diversity and biomass of the ecosystem in which they occur, like any other organism, they are an important source of food for many species. The older parts of a plant will have more epiphytes growing on them. Epiphytes differ from parasites in that epiphytes grow on other plants for physical support and do not negatively affect the host. An epiphytic organism, not a plant is sometimes called an epibiont. Epiphytes are found in the temperate zone or in the tropics. Epiphyte species make good houseplants due to their minimal soil requirements. Epiphytes provide a rich and diverse habitat for other organisms including animals, fungi and myxomycetes. Epiphyte is one of the subdivisions of the Raunkiær system; the term epiphytic derives from the Greek epi- and phyton. Epiphytic plants are sometimes called "air plants".
However, there are many aquatic species of algae. The best-known epiphytic plants include mosses and bromeliads such as Spanish moss, but epiphytes may be found in every major group of the plant kingdom. 89% of terrestrial epiphyte species are flowering plants. The second largest group are the leptosporangiate ferns, with about 2800 species. In fact, about one third of all ferns are epiphytes; the third largest group is clubmosses, with 190 species, followed by a handful of species in each of the spikemosses, other ferns and cycads. The first important monograph on epiphytic plant ecology was written by A. F. W. Schimper. Assemblages of large epiphytes occur most abundantly in moist tropical forests, but mosses and lichens occur as epiphytes in all biomes. In Europe there are no dedicated epiphytic plants using roots, but rich assemblages of mosses and lichens grow on trees in damp areas, the common polypody fern grows epiphytically along branches. Grass, small bushes or small trees may grow in suspended soils up trees.
Epiphytes however, can be categorized into holo-epiphytes or hemi-epiphytes. A holo-epiphyte is a plant that spends its whole life cycle without contact with the ground and a hemi-epiphyte is a plant that spends only half of its life without the ground before the roots can reach or make contact with the ground. Orchids are a common example of holo-epiphytes and Strangler Figs are an example of hemi-epiphytes. Epiphytes are not connected to the soil, must get nutrients from other sources, such as fog, dew and mist, or from nutrients being released from the ground rooted plants by decomposition or leaching, dinitrogen fixation. Epiphytic plants attached to their hosts high in the canopy have an advantage over herbs restricted to the ground where there is less light and herbivores may be more active. Epiphytic plants are important to certain animals that may live in their water reservoirs, such as some types of frogs and arthropods. Epiphytes can have a significant effect on the microenvironment of their host, of ecosystems where they are abundant, as they hold water in the canopy and decrease water input to the soil.
Some non-vascular epiphytes such as lichens and mosses are well known for their ability to take up water rapidly. The epiphytes create a cooler and moister environment in the host plant canopy greatly reducing water loss by the host through transpiration; the ecology of epiphytes in marine environments differs from those in terrestrial ecosystems. Epiphytes in marine systems are species of algae, fungi, bryozoans, protozoa, crustaceans and any other sessile organism that grows on the surface of a plant seagrasses or algae. Settlement of epiphytic species is influenced by a number of factors including light, currents and trophic interactions. Algae are the most common group of epiphytes in marine systems. Photosynthetic epiphytes account for a large amount of the photosynthesis in systems in which they occur; this is between 20 and 60% of the total primary production of the ecosystem. They are a general group of organisms and are diverse, providing food for a great number of fauna. Snail and nudibranch species are two common grazers of epiphytes.
Epiphyte species composition and the amount of epiphytes can be indicative of changes in the environment. Recent increases in epiphyte abundance have been linked to excessive nitrogen put into the environment from farm runoff and storm water. High abundance of epiphytes are considered detrimental to the plants that they grow on causing damage or death in seagrasses; this is. Epiphytes in marine systems are known to grow with fast generation times. Epiphyllum - a genus of epiphytic cacti Parasitic plant Epilith, an organism that grows in a rock Epibiont, an organism that grows on another life form Epiphytic bacteria Epiphytic fungus Epiphytes on a Scot's Pine in Gorbie Glen, Scotland
In plant systematics Epidendroideae is a subfamily of the orchid family, Orchidaceae. Epidendroideae is larger than all the other orchid subfamilies together, comprising more than 15,000 species in 576 genera. Most Epidendroid orchids are tropical epiphytes with pseudobulbs. There are, some terrestrials such as Epipactis and a few myco-heterotrophs, which are parasitic upon mycorrhizal fungi, they contain the remaining orchids with a single, fertile anther, fully incumbent to suberect. The anther form arises from early anther bending; the incumbent anther is pointed backward in many genera. Most have hard pollinia, i.e. a mass of waxy pollen or of coherent pollen grains. The pollinia are without; the stigma are three-lobed. The apical part of the middle stigma lobe forms a stipe; the ovary is unilocular. The leaves are distichous or spiraling; the Epidendroideae are difficult to classify. They have been divided in “lower epidendroids” and “higher epidendroids”. Epiphytes are plants which grow on top of other plants.
They are not parasitic. By growing on other plants, the epiphytes can reach to the light better or where they can avoid struggling for light. Many mosses and lichens are epiphytes, as are 10 per cent of all seed plants and ferns. Epiphytes are common in some groups of plants, such as ferns, mosses and algae. Over half of the 20,000 species of orchids are epiphytes. Most epiphytic seed plants and ferns are found in tropical and subtropical rainforests because they need high humidity to survive; the areas which most epiphytes grow are the montane rainforests. Epiphytic orchids are found on many positions of the host tree, depending on species requirements and size, some large species will grow in a fork, whereas some small species scramble through thin branches, other species will climb up the trunk etc. etc. The trees provide many habitats with different conditions of temperature and light. In temperate places, epiphytes are most common in moist forests, such as the rainforests in Queensland. Epiphytes are not adapted to droughts in the same way are other flora, because they don’t have access to the ground, but they still have some mechanisms to help them survive.
Some become dormant for months at a time. They contain absorptive plants that are capable at taking up water when it is available and preventing drought when water is scarcer. CAM can be impeded by higher night-time temperatures, dehydrated tissues, high saturation deficits in the surrounding air, which lower the "stomata conductance" of the epiphytes, reducing the CO2 uptake, which in turn reduces growth and reproduction and induces carbon loss. Higher temperatures, strain on evaporation, contact to light cause CAM-idling, the epiphyte closing its stomata when it becomes stressed, that brings down the range of habitats a species can inhabit. Epiphyte species work biomasses are much more sensitive to different relative moisture levels than other plants; the Epidendroideae subfamily is divided into two clades or subgroups known as the higher epidendroids and the lower epidendroids. The higher epidendroids are monophyletic and polyphyletic; the tribes are listed below: This classification has a rather ephemeral nature and is prone to frequent revision.
Changes are to occur as new morphological and genetic data become available. A phylogenetic analysis of the Orchidaceae - evidence from rbcL nucleotide sequences Orchid Tree: a phylogeny of epiphytes on the tree of life