Andreas Franz Wilhelm Schimper
Andreas Franz Wilhelm Schimper was a German botanist and phytogeographer who made major contributions in the fields of histology and plant geography. He travelled to the Caribbean as part of the 1899 deep-sea expedition, he coined the terms tropical rainforest and sclerophyll and is commemorated in numerous specific names. Schimper was born into a family of eminent scientists, his father Wilhelm Philippe Schimper was Director of the Natural History Museum in the same town, Professor of Geology, a leading bryologist. His father's cousin was Georg Wilhelm Schimper, prominent collector and explorer in Arabia and North Africa. Schimper studied at the University of Strassburg from 1874 to 1878, acquiring a Ph. D, he worked in Lyon, in 1880 travelled to the United States, becoming a Fellow at Johns Hopkins University. In 1882, he moved back to the University of Bonn working with Eduard Strasburger, becoming a private docent. In 1883, Schimper postulated the endosymbiotic origin of chloroplasts and paved the way to the symbiogenesis theory of Konstantin Mereschkowski und Lynn Margulis.
In 1886, he was appointed Extraordinary Professor at the University of Bonn, worked on cell histology and starch metabolism. He had become interested in phytogeography and plant ecology, undertaking expeditions to the West Indies and Venezuela in 1882-1883. In 1886, he stayed with Fritz Müller in Brazil, in 1889-1890 in Ceylon, the Malaya and Botanical Garden in Buitenzorg, concentrating on mangroves and littoral vegetation; this resulted in his account of the Rhizophoraceae in Engler & Prantl's Natürliche Pflanzenfamilien. In 1898, he became Professor of Botany at the University of Basel and the same year joined the German Valdivia-Expedition; this was a deep-sea expedition aboard the SS Valdivia led by Professor Carl Chun. The trip lasted 9 months, during which they visited the Canary Islands, Cape Town, New Amsterdam and Cocos Islands, the Maldives, the Seychelles and the Red Sea. In 1899, he became Professor of Botany at the University of Basel, his health had been affected by malaria contracted in Cameroon and Dar-es-Salaam, he died of complications of malaria at the age of 45 in 1901.
Schimper is best known for Pflanzengeographie auf physiologischer Grundlage, published at the University of Jena in 1898 where he aimed to explain the expansion and ecology of plants based on the ecological knowledge of the time. In this book he coined the terms tropical sclerophyll, he wrote in the preface: "Nur wenn sie in engster Fühlung mit der experimentellen Physiologie verbleibt, wird die Ökologie der Pflanzengeographie neue Bahnen eröffnen können, denn sie setzt eine genaue Kenntnis der Lebensbedingungen der Pflanze voraus, welche nur das Experiment verschaffen kann". His classification of plant formations was important for the development of the botanical sciences: „Nach dem Vorhergehenden sind zwei ökologische Formationsgruppen zu unterscheiden, die klimatischen oder Gebietsformationen, deren Vegetationscharakter durch die Hydrometeore beherrscht, und die edaphischen oder Standortsformationen, wo derselbe in erster Linie durch die Bodenbeschaffenheit bedingt ist“. At the same time as his Russian soil science colleagues, Schimper discussed the hypothesis of vegetation being limited to climate zones versus those that are azonal, elaborated by Frederic Edward Clements and geobotanist Heinrich Walter amongst others.
In 1894, Schimper was one of the 4 original authors of the textbook of botany Lehrbuch der Botanik and until the 5th edition 1902 editor of the chapter spermatophyta or seed-bearing plants. Rudolf Marloth wrote an account of the Cape floral region for Chun's proposed Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der deutschen Tiefsee-Expedition auf dem Dampfer Valdivia 1898-1899, and Schimper contributed two chapters on "Gebiet der Hartlaubgehölze" and "Der Knysnawald". Schimper is commemorated in specific names such as Acokanthera Harpachne schimperi. In 1892, he was voted a member of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina gewählt. Works by Andreas Franz Wilhelm Schimper at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Andreas Franz Wilhelm Schimper at Internet Archive Books by and about A. F. G. Schimper on WorldCat Digital edition: "Anleitung zur mikroskopischen Untersuchung der vegetabilischen Nahrungs- und Genussmittel" 2nd ed. by the University and State Library Düsseldorf Plant-geography upon a physiological basis by A.
F. W. Schimper, 1903 Biodiversity Heritage Library Botanical Exploration of Southern Africa Mary Gunn & LE Codd
A cactus is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, a family comprising about 127 genera with some 1750 known species of the order Caryophyllales. The word "cactus" derives, through Latin, from the Ancient Greek κάκτος, kaktos, a name used by Theophrastus for a spiny plant whose identity is not certain. Cacti occur in a wide range of sizes. Most cacti live in habitats subject to at least some drought. Many live in dry environments being found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth. Cacti show many adaptations to conserve water. All cacti are succulents, meaning they have thickened, fleshy parts adapted to store water. Unlike many other succulents, the stem is the only part of most cacti where this vital process takes place. Most species of cacti have lost true leaves, retaining only spines, which are modified leaves; as well as defending against herbivores, spines help prevent water loss by reducing air flow close to the cactus and providing some shade. In the absence of leaves, enlarged stems carry out photosynthesis.
Cacti are native to the Americas, ranging from Patagonia in the south to parts of western Canada in the north—except for Rhipsalis baccifera, which grows in Africa and Sri Lanka. Cactus spines are produced from specialized structures called areoles, a kind of reduced branch. Areoles are an identifying feature of cacti; as well as spines, areoles give rise to flowers, which are tubular and multipetaled. Many cacti have short growing seasons and long dormancies, are able to react to any rainfall, helped by an extensive but shallow root system that absorbs any water reaching the ground surface. Cactus stems are ribbed or fluted, which allows them to expand and contract for quick water absorption after rain, followed by long drought periods. Like other succulent plants, most cacti employ a special mechanism called "crassulacean acid metabolism" as part of photosynthesis. Transpiration, during which carbon dioxide enters the plant and water escapes, does not take place during the day at the same time as photosynthesis, but instead occurs at night.
The plant stores the carbon dioxide it takes in as malic acid, retaining it until daylight returns, only using it in photosynthesis. Because transpiration takes place during the cooler, more humid night hours, water loss is reduced. Many smaller cacti have globe-shaped stems, combining the highest possible volume for water storage, with the lowest possible surface area for water loss from transpiration; the tallest free-standing cactus is Pachycereus pringlei, with a maximum recorded height of 19.2 m, the smallest is Blossfeldia liliputiana, only about 1 cm in diameter at maturity. A grown saguaro is said to be able to absorb as much as 200 U. S. gallons of water during a rainstorm. A few species differ in appearance from most of the family. At least superficially, plants of the genus Pereskia resemble other trees and shrubs growing around them, they have persistent leaves, when older, bark-covered stems. Their areoles identify them as cacti, in spite of their appearance, too, have many adaptations for water conservation.
Pereskia is considered close to the ancestral species from. In tropical regions, other cacti grow as forest epiphytes, their stems are flattened leaf-like in appearance, with fewer or no spines, such as the well-known Christmas cactus or Thanksgiving cactus. Cacti have a variety of uses: many species are used as ornamental plants, others are grown for fodder or forage, others for food. Cochineal is the product of an insect. Many succulent plants in both the Old and New World – such as some Euphorbiaceae – bear a striking resemblance to cacti, may incorrectly be called "cactus" in common usage; the 1,500 to 1,800 species of cacti fall into one of two groups of "core cacti": opuntias and "cactoids". Most members of these two groups are recognizable as cacti, they have fleshy succulent stems. They have small, or transient leaves, they have flowers with ovaries that lie below the sepals and petals deeply sunken into a fleshy receptacle. All cacti have areoles—highly specialized short shoots with short internodes that produce spines, normal shoots, flowers.
The remaining cacti fall into only two genera and Maihuenia, are rather different, which means any description of cacti as a whole must make exceptions for them. Pereskia species superficially resemble other tropical forest trees; when mature, they have woody stems that may be covered with bark and long-lasting leaves that provide the main means of photosynthesis. Their flowers may have superior ovaries, areoles that produce further leaves; the two species of Maihuenia have globe-shaped bodies with prominent leaves at the top. Cacti show a wide variety of growth habits, which are difficult to divide into clear, simple categories. Arborescent cactiThey can be tree-like, meaning they have a single more-or-less woody trunk topped by several to many branches. In the genus Pereskia, the branches are covered with leaves, so the species of this genus may not be recognized as cacti. In most other cacti, the branches are more cactus-like, bare of leaves and bark, cov
The Orchidaceae are a diverse and widespread family of flowering plants, with blooms that are colourful and fragrant known as the orchid family. Along with the Asteraceae, they are one of the two largest families of flowering plants; the Orchidaceae have about 28,000 accepted species, distributed in about 763 genera. The determination of which family is larger is still under debate, because verified data on the members of such enormous families are continually in flux. Regardless, the number of orchid species nearly equals the number of bony fishes and is more than twice the number of bird species, about four times the number of mammal species; the family encompasses about 6–11% of all seed plants. The largest genera are Bulbophyllum, Epidendrum and Pleurothallis, it includes Vanilla–the genus of the vanilla plant, the type genus Orchis, many cultivated plants such as Phalaenopsis and Cattleya. Moreover, since the introduction of tropical species into cultivation in the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars.
Orchids are distinguished from other plants, as they share some evident, shared derived characteristics, or synapomorphies. Among these are: bilateral symmetry of the flower, many resupinate flowers, a nearly always modified petal, fused stamens and carpels, small seeds. All orchids are perennial herbs, they can grow according to two patterns: Monopodial: The stem grows from a single bud, leaves are added from the apex each year and the stem grows longer accordingly. The stem of orchids with a monopodial growth can reach several metres in length, as in Vanda and Vanilla. Sympodial: Sympodial orchids have a front and a back; the plant produces a series of adjacent shoots, which grow to a certain size and stop growing and are replaced. Sympodial orchids grow laterally following the surface of their support; the growth continues by development of new leads, with their own leaves and roots, sprouting from or next to those of the previous year, as in Cattleya. While a new lead is developing, the rhizome may start its growth again from a so-called'eye', an undeveloped bud, thereby branching.
Sympodial orchids may have visible pseudobulbs joined by a rhizome, which creeps along the top or just beneath the soil. Terrestrial orchids may form corms or tubers; the root caps of terrestrial orchids are white. Some sympodial terrestrial orchids, such as Orchis and Ophrys, have two subterranean tuberous roots. One is used as a food reserve for wintry periods, provides for the development of the other one, from which visible growth develops. In warm and humid climates, many terrestrial orchids do not need pseudobulbs. Epiphytic orchids, those that grow upon a support, have modified aerial roots that can sometimes be a few meters long. In the older parts of the roots, a modified spongy epidermis, called velamen, has the function of absorbing humidity, it can have a silvery-grey, white or brown appearance. In some orchids, the velamen includes spongy and fibrous bodies near the passage cells, called tilosomes; the cells of the root epidermis grow at a right angle to the axis of the root to allow them to get a firm grasp on their support.
Nutrients for epiphytic orchids come from mineral dust, organic detritus, animal droppings and other substances collecting among on their supporting surfaces. The base of the stem of sympodial epiphytes, or in some species the entire stem, may be thickened to form a pseudobulb that contains nutrients and water for drier periods; the pseudobulb has a smooth surface with lengthwise grooves, can have different shapes conical or oblong. Its size is variable; some Dendrobium species have long, canelike pseudobulbs with short, rounded leaves over the whole length. With ageing, the pseudobulb becomes dormant. At this stage, it is called a backbulb. Backbulbs still hold nutrition for the plant, but a pseudobulb takes over, exploiting the last reserves accumulated in the backbulb, which dies off, too. A pseudobulb lives for about five years. Orchids without noticeable pseudobulbs are said to have growths, an individual component of a sympodial plant. Like most monocots, orchids have simple leaves with parallel veins, although some Vanilloideae have reticulate venation.
Leaves may be ovate, lanceolate, or orbiculate, variable in size on the individual plant. Their characteristics are diagnostic, they are alternate on the stem folded lengthwise along the centre, have no stipules. Orchid leaves have siliceous bodies called stegmata in the vascular bundle sheaths and are fibrous; the structure of the leaves corresponds to the specific habitat of the plant. Species that bask in sunlight, or grow on sites which can be very dry, have thick, leathery leaves and the laminae are covered by a waxy cuticle to retain their necessary water supply. Shade-loving species, on the other hand, have thin leaves; the leaves of most orchids are perennial, that is, they live for several years, while others those with plicate leaves as in Catasetum, shed them annually and de
Strangler fig is the common name for a number of tropical and subtropical plant species, including some banyans and unrelated vines, including among many other species: Ficus altissima Ficus aurea known as the Florida strangler fig Ficus barbata known as the bearded fig Ficus benghalensis Ficus burtt-davyi Ficus citrifolia Ficus craterostoma Ficus tinctoria Ficus macrophylla Ficus obliqua Ficus virens Ficus watkinsianaThese all share a common "strangling" growth habit, found in many tropical forest species of the genus Ficus. This growth habit is an adaptation for growing in dark forests where the competition for light is intense; these plants are hemiepiphytes, spending the first part of their life without rooting into the ground. Their seeds bird-dispersed, germinate in crevices atop other trees; these seedlings grow their roots downward and envelop the host tree while growing upward to reach into the sunlight zone above the canopy. An original support tree can sometimes die, so that the strangler fig becomes a "columnar tree" with a hollow central core.
However, it is believed that the strangler fig can help the support tree survive storms. The Tropical Rain Forest, including photos of strangler figs The Queen of Trees: Fig Trees—From the Sacred to the Strangler Being strangled may save this tree’s life
The flowering plants known as angiosperms, Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants, with 64 orders, 416 families 13,164 known genera and c. 369,000 known species. Like gymnosperms, angiosperms are seed-producing plants. However, they are distinguished from gymnosperms by characteristics including flowers, endosperm within the seeds, the production of fruits that contain the seeds. Etymologically, angiosperm means a plant; the term comes from the Greek words sperma. The ancestors of flowering plants diverged from gymnosperms in the Triassic Period, 245 to 202 million years ago, the first flowering plants are known from 160 mya, they diversified extensively during the Early Cretaceous, became widespread by 120 mya, replaced conifers as the dominant trees from 100 to 60 mya. Angiosperms differ from other seed plants in several ways, described in the table below; these distinguishing characteristics taken together have made the angiosperms the most diverse and numerous land plants and the most commercially important group to humans.
Angiosperm stems are made up of seven layers. The amount and complexity of tissue-formation in flowering plants exceeds that of gymnosperms; the vascular bundles of the stem are arranged such that the phloem form concentric rings. In the dicotyledons, the bundles in the young stem are arranged in an open ring, separating a central pith from an outer cortex. In each bundle, separating the xylem and phloem, is a layer of meristem or active formative tissue known as cambium. By the formation of a layer of cambium between the bundles, a complete ring is formed, a regular periodical increase in thickness results from the development of xylem on the inside and phloem on the outside; the soft phloem becomes crushed, but the hard wood persists and forms the bulk of the stem and branches of the woody perennial. Owing to differences in the character of the elements produced at the beginning and end of the season, the wood is marked out in transverse section into concentric rings, one for each season of growth, called annual rings.
Among the monocotyledons, the bundles are more numerous in the young stem and are scattered through the ground tissue. They once formed the stem increases in diameter only in exceptional cases; the characteristic feature of angiosperms is the flower. Flowers show remarkable variation in form and elaboration, provide the most trustworthy external characteristics for establishing relationships among angiosperm species; the function of the flower is to ensure fertilization of the ovule and development of fruit containing seeds. The floral apparatus may arise terminally from the axil of a leaf; as in violets, a flower arises singly in the axil of an ordinary foliage-leaf. More the flower-bearing portion of the plant is distinguished from the foliage-bearing or vegetative portion, forms a more or less elaborate branch-system called an inflorescence. There are two kinds of reproductive cells produced by flowers. Microspores, which will divide to become pollen grains, are the "male" cells and are borne in the stamens.
The "female" cells called megaspores, which will divide to become the egg cell, are contained in the ovule and enclosed in the carpel. The flower may consist only of these parts, as in willow, where each flower comprises only a few stamens or two carpels. Other structures are present and serve to protect the sporophylls and to form an envelope attractive to pollinators; the individual members of these surrounding structures are known as petals. The outer series is green and leaf-like, functions to protect the rest of the flower the bud; the inner series is, in general, white or brightly colored, is more delicate in structure. It functions to attract bird pollinators. Attraction is effected by color and nectar, which may be secreted in some part of the flower; the characteristics that attract pollinators account for the popularity of flowers and flowering plants among humans. While the majority of flowers are perfect or hermaphrodite, flowering plants have developed numerous morphological and physiological mechanisms to reduce or prevent self-fertilization.
Heteromorphic flowers have short carpels and long stamens, or vice versa, so animal pollinators cannot transfer pollen to the pistil. Homomorphic flowers may employ a biochemical mechanism called self-incompatibility to discriminate between self and non-self pollen grains. In other species, the male and female parts are morphologically separated, developing on different flowers; the botanical term "Angiosperm", from the Ancient Greek αγγείον, angeíon and σπέρμα, was coined in the form Angiospermae by Paul Hermann in 1690, as the name of one of his primary divisions of the plant kingdom. This included flowering plants possessing seeds enclosed in capsules, distinguished from his Gymnospermae, or flowering plants with achenial or schizo-carpic fruits, the whole fruit or each of its pieces being here regarded as a seed and naked; the term and its antonym were maintained by Carl Linnaeus with the same sense, but with restricted application, in the names of the orders of his class Didynamia. Its use with any
Spanish moss is an epiphytic flowering plant that grows upon larger trees in tropical and subtropical climates, native to much of Mexico, the Bahamas, Central America, South America, the southern United States, the West Indies and is naturalized in Queensland. It is known as "grandpas beard" in French Polynesia. In the United States from where it is most known, it is found on the southern live oak and bald-cypress in the lowlands and savannas of the southeastern United States from southeast Virginia south to Florida and west to Texas and southern Arkansas; this plant's specific name usneoides means "resembling Usnea", it indeed superficially resembles its namesake Usnea known as beard lichen, but in fact Spanish moss is neither a moss nor a lichen. Instead, it is a flowering plant in the family Bromeliaceae which grows hanging from tree branches in full sun through partial shade; this plant has been placed in the genera Anoplophytum and Renealmia. The northern limit of its natural range is Northampton County, with colonial-era reports in southern Maryland where no populations are now known to be extant.
The primary range is in the southeastern United States, through Argentina, growing where the climate is warm enough and has a high average humidity. It has been introduced to similar locations including Hawaii and Australia; the plant consists of one or more slender stems bearing alternate thin, curved or curly scaled leaves 0.8–2.4 in long and 0.04 in broad, that grow vegetatively in chain-like fashion, forming hanging structures up to 240 in in length. The plant has no aerial roots and its brown, yellow, or grey flowers are tiny and inconspicuous, it propagates both by seed and vegetatively by fragments that blow on the wind and stick to tree limbs, or are carried by birds as nesting material. Spanish-moss is an epiphyte which absorbs nutrients and water through its leaves from the air and rainfall. While it kills the tree upon which it grows, it can become so thick that it shades the tree's leaves and lowers its growth rate. In the southern U. S. the plant seems to show a preference for growth on southern live oak and bald cypress because of these trees' high rates of foliar mineral leaching providing an abundant supply of nutrients to the plant, but it can colonize other tree species such as sweetgum, crepe-myrtles, other oaks, pines.
Spanish-moss shelters a number of creatures, including three species of bats. One species of jumping spider, has been found only on Spanish-moss. Chiggers, though assumed to infest Spanish-moss, were not present among thousands of other arthropods identified in one study. Due to its propensity for growing in subtropical humid southern locales like Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi, North Carolina, extreme southern Virginia and south Texas, Alabama, the plant is associated with Southern Gothic imagery and Deep South culture. One story of the origin of Spanish moss is called "The Meanest Man Who Ever Lived"; the man's white hair grew long and got caught on trees. Spanish moss was introduced to Hawaii in the 19th century, became a popular ornamental and lei plant. On Hawai'i it is called "Pele's hair" after Pele the Hawaiian goddess; the term "Pele's hair" is used to refer to a type of filamentous volcanic glass. Spanish-moss has been used for various purposes, including building insulation, packing material, mattress stuffing, fiber.
In the early 1900s it was used commercially in the padding of car seats. In 1939 over 10,000 tons of processed Spanish-moss was produced, it is still collected today in smaller quantities for use in arts and crafts, or for beddings for flower gardens, as an ingredient in the traditional wall covering material bousillage. In some parts of Latin America and Louisiana Spanish moss is used in Nativity scenes. In the desert regions of the southwestern United States, dried Spanish-moss plants are used in the manufacture of evaporative coolers, colloquially known as swamp coolers; these are used to cool offices much less expensively than using air conditioners. A pump squirts water onto a pad made of Spanish-moss plants. A fan pulls air through the pad and into the building. Evaporation of the water on the pads serves to reduce the air temperature, thus cooling the building. Tillandsia'Maurice's Robusta' Tillandsia'Munro's Filiformis' Tillandsia'Odin's Genuina' Tillandsia'Spanish Gold' Tillandsia'Tight and Curly' Tillandsia'Nezley' Tillandsia'Kimberly' Tillandsia'Old Man's Gold' Mabberley, D.
J. 1987. The Plant Book. A Portable Dictionary of the Higher Plants. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-34060-8. Spanish Moss: Its History and Uses -- Beaufort County Library Florida Forest Plants Florida Spanish Moss: Theory - Does Spanish Moss kill trees