Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities; the history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first. Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, technological developments have increased yields, while causing widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage.
Environmental issues include contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, antibiotic resistance, growth hormones in industrial meat production. Genetically modified organisms are used, although some are banned in certain countries; the major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers and raw materials. Food classes include cereals, fruits, meat, milk and eggs. Over one-third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased over the centuries; the word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, "field", which in its turn came from Greek αγρός, cultūra, "cultivation" or "growing". While agriculture refers to human activities, certain species of ant and ambrosia beetle cultivate crops. Agriculture is defined with varying scopes, in its broadest sense using natural resources to "produce commodities which maintain life, including food, forest products, horticultural crops, their related services".
Thus defined, it includes arable farming, animal husbandry and forestry, but horticulture and forestry are in practice excluded. The development of agriculture enabled the human population to grow many times larger than could be sustained by hunting and gathering. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, included a diverse range of taxa, in at least 11 separate centres of origin. Wild grains were eaten from at least 105,000 years ago. From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant. Rice was domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC with the earliest known cultivation from 5,700 BC, followed by mung and azuki beans. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 11,000 years ago. Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan some 10,500 years ago. Pig production emerged in Eurasia, including Europe, East Asia and Southwest Asia, where wild boar were first domesticated about 10,500 years ago.
In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, llamas and guinea pigs. Sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago. Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7,000 years ago. Cotton was domesticated in Peru by 5,600 years ago, was independently domesticated in Eurasia. In Mesoamerica, wild teosinte was bred into maize by 6,000 years ago. Scholars have offered multiple hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an initial period of intensification and increasing sedentism. Wild stands, harvested started to be planted, came to be domesticated. In Eurasia, the Sumerians started to live in villages from about 8,000 BC, relying on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and a canal system for irrigation. Ploughs appear in pictographs around 3,000 BC. Farmers grew wheat, vegetables such as lentils and onions, fruits including dates and figs.
Ancient Egyptian agriculture relied on its seasonal flooding. Farming started in the predynastic period at the end of the Paleolithic, after 10,000 BC. Staple food crops were grains such as wheat and barley, alongside industrial crops such as flax and papyrus. In India, wheat and jujube were domesticated by 9,000 BC, soon followed by sheep and goats. Cattle and goats were domesticated in Mehrgarh culture by 8,000–6,000 BC. Cotton was cultivated by the 5th-4th millennium BC. Archeological evidence indicates an animal-drawn plough from 2,500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilisation. In China, from the 5th century BC there was a nationwide granary system and widespread silk farming. Water-powered grain mills were in use followed by irrigation. By the late 2nd century, heavy ploughs had been developed with iron mouldboards; these spread westwards across Eurasia. Asian rice was domesticated 8,200–13,500 years ago – depending on the molecular clock estimate, used – on the Pearl River in southern China with a single genetic origin from the wild rice Oryza rufipogon
An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem, composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches. Morphologically, it is the modified part of the shoot of seed plants; the modifications can involve the length and the nature of the internodes and the phyllotaxis, as well as variations in the proportions, swellings, adnations and reduction of main and secondary axes. Inflorescence can be defined as the reproductive portion of a plant that bears a cluster of flowers in a specific pattern; the stem holding the whole inflorescence is called a peduncle and the major axis holding the flowers or more branches within the inflorescence is called the rachis. The stalk of each single flower is called a pedicel. A flower, not part of an inflorescence is called a solitary flower and its stalk is referred to as a peduncle. Any flower in an inflorescence may be referred to as a floret when the individual flowers are small and borne in a tight cluster, such as in a pseudanthium.
The fruiting stage of an inflorescence is known as an infructescence. Inflorescences may be complex; the rachis may be one of several types, including single, umbel, spike or raceme. Inflorescences are described by many different characteristics including how the flowers are arranged on the peduncle, the blooming order of the flowers and how different clusters of flowers are grouped within it; these terms are general representations. Inflorescences have modified shoots foliage different from the vegetative part of the plant. Considering the broadest meaning of the term, any leaf associated with an inflorescence is called a bract. A bract is located at the node where the main stem of the inflorescence forms, joined to the main stem of the plant, but other bracts can exist within the inflorescence itself, they serve a variety of functions which include protecting young flowers. According to the presence or absence of bracts and their characteristics we can distinguish: Ebracteate inflorescences: No bracts in the inflorescence.
Bracteate inflorescences: The bracts in the inflorescence are specialised, sometimes reduced to small scales, divided or dissected. Leafy inflorescences: Though reduced in size, the bracts are unspecialised and look like the typical leaves of the plant, so that the term flowering stem is applied instead of inflorescence; this use is not technically correct, as, despite their'normal' appearance, these leaves are considered, in fact, bracts, so that'leafy inflorescence' is preferable. Leafy-bracted inflorescences: Intermediate between bracteate and leafy inflorescence. If many bracts are present and they are connected to the stem, like in the family Asteraceae, the bracts might collectively be called an involucre. If the inflorescence has a second unit of bracts further up the stem, they might be called an involucel. Plant organs can grow according to two different schemes, namely monopodial or racemose and sympodial or cymose. In inflorescences these two different growth patterns are called indeterminate and determinate and indicate whether a terminal flower is formed and where flowering starts within the inflorescence.
Indeterminate inflorescence: Monopodial growth. The terminal bud keeps forming lateral flowers. A terminal flower is never formed. Determinate inflorescence: Sympodial growth; the terminal bud forms a terminal flower and dies out. Other flowers grow from lateral buds. Indeterminate and determinate inflorescences are sometimes referred to as open and closed inflorescences respectively; the indeterminate patterning of flowers is derived from determinate flowers. It is suggested that indeterminate flowers have a common mechanism that prevents terminal flower growth. Based on phylogenetic analyses, this mechanism arose independently multiple times in different species. In an indeterminate inflorescence there is no true terminal flower and the stem has a rudimentary end. In many cases the last true flower formed by the terminal bud straightens up, appearing to be a terminal flower. A vestige of the terminal bud may be noticed higher on the stem. In determinate inflorescences the terminal flower is the first to mature, while the others tend to mature starting from the bottom of the stem.
This pattern is called acropetal maturation. When flowers start to mature from the top of the stem, maturation is basipetal, while when the central mature first, divergent; as with leaves, flowers can be arranged on the stem according to many different patterns. See'Phyllotaxis' for in-depth descriptions Similarly arrangement of leaf in bud is called Ptyxis. Metatopy is the placement of organs out of their expected position: metatopy occurs in inflorescences when unequal growth rates alter different areas of the axis and the organs attached to the axis; when a single or a cluster of flower is located at the axil of a bract, the location of the bract in relation to the stem holding the flower is indicated by the use of different terms and may be a useful diagnostic indicator. Typical placement of bracts include: Some plants have bracts that subtend the inflorescence, where the flowers are on branched stalks.
In plant taxonomy, commelinids is a name used by the APG IV system for a clade within the monocots, which in its turn is a clade within the angiosperms. The commelinids are the only clade; the remaining monocots are a paraphyletic unit. Known as the commelinid monocots it forms one of three groupings within the monocots, the final branch, the other two groups being the alismatid monocots and the lilioid monocots. Members of the commelinid clade have cell walls containing UV-fluorescent ferulic acid; the commelinids were first recognized as a formal group in 1967 by Armen Takhtajan, who named them the Commelinidae and assigned them as a subclass to Liliopsida. The name was used in the 1981 Cronquist system. However, by the release of his 1980 system of classification, Takhtajan had merged this subclass into a larger one, no longer considered to be a clade. In the Takhtajan system treated this as one of six subclasses within the class Liliopsida, it consisted of: subclass Commelinidae superorder Bromelianae order Bromeliales order Velloziales superorder Pontederianae order Philydrales order Pontederiales order Haemodorales superorder Zingiberanae order Musales order Lowiales order Zingiberales order Cannales superorder Commelinanae order Commelinales order Mayacales order Xyridales order Rapateales order Eriocaulales superorder Hydatellanae order Hydatellales superorder Juncanae order Juncales order Cyperales superorder Poanae order Flagellariales order Restionales order Centrolepidales order Poales The Cronquist system treated this as one of four subclasses within the class Liliopsida.
It consisted of: subclass Commelinidae order Commelinales order Eriocaulales order Restionales order Juncales order Cyperales order Hydatellales order Typhales The APG II system does not use formal botanical names above the rank of order. The commelinids now constitute a well-supported clade within the monocots, this clade has been recognized in all four APG classification systems; the commelinids of APG II and APG III contain the same plants as the commelinoids of the earlier APG system. In APG IV the family Dasypogonaceae is no longer directly placed under commelinids but instead a family of order Arecales. Media related to Commelinids at Wikimedia Commons
National Herbarium of Victoria
The National Herbarium of Victoria is one of Australia's earliest herbaria, the oldest scientific institution in Victoria. It was established in 1853 by Ferdinand von Mueller, the Government Botanist for Victoria, is situated within the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne; the present building was constructed in 1934 through a donation from philanthropist Sir Macpherson Robertson. It, along with a 1989 extension, houses the entire collection of 1.5 million plant and fungal specimens. The Herbarium's botanic library is an important source for the history of Australian botany, has contributed some 124 volumes to the online digital Biodiversity Heritage Library; the herbarium is a partner in the Australasian Virtual Herbarium project, thereby making all of its collection data available to anyone to use. The herbarium publishes an online key together with descriptions of plants found in Victoria via VicFlora. Over half of the existing collection was acquired by Mueller; the herbarium includes the following collections: Otto Sonder herbarium Fern collections Bryophyte collections Algae collections Lichen collections Fungi collections Botany of the Burke and Wills expedition Muelleria, a peer-reviewed botanical journal published by the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne National Herbarium of New South Wales List of Herbaria Australasian Virtual Herbarium Fungimap Australasian Virtual Herbarium Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria VicFlora Flora of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.
Retrieved 18 May 2018
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
Juncaceae is a family of flowering plants known as the rush family. It consists of 8 genera and about 464 known species of slow-growing, herbaceous monocotyledonous plants that may superficially resemble grasses and sedges, they grow on infertile soils in a wide range of moisture conditions. The best-known and largest genus is Juncus. Most of the Juncus species grow in wetland habitats. A few rushes, such as Juncus bufonius are annuals; the leaves are well-developed in a basal aggregation on an erect stem. They are tristichous. Only in the genus Distichia are the leaves distichous; the rushes of the genus Juncus have hairless leaves or cylindrical leaves. The leaves of the wood-rushes of the genus Luzula bear long white hairs; the plants are hermaphroditic or dioecious. The small flowers are arranged in inflorescences of loose cymes, but in rather dense heads or corymbs at the top of the stem or at its side; this family has reduced perianth segments called tepals. These are arranged in two whorls, each containing three thin, papery tepals.
They are not bright or flashy in appearance, their color can vary from greenish to whitish, purple, black, or hyaline. The three stigmas are in the center of the flowers; as is characteristic of monocots, all of the flower parts appear in multiples of three. The fruit is a nonfleshy, three-sectioned dehiscent capsule containing many seeds; the dried pith of plants of this family were used to make a type of candle known as a rushlight. The soft rush is called igusa in Japanese and is used to weave the soft surface cover of tatami mats. In medieval Europe, loose fresh rushes would be strewn on earthen floors in dwellings for cleanliness and insulation. Favored for such a purpose was Acorus calamus, but despite its alternate vernacular name "sweet rush", it is a plant from a different monocot order, Acorales. Information and pictures "Rush, the common name for species of juncus"; the American Cyclopædia. 1879. "Juncaceae". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911
Wikispecies is a wiki-based online project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation. Its aim is to create a comprehensive free content catalogue of all species. Jimmy Wales stated that editors are not required to fax in their degrees, but that submissions will have to pass muster with a technical audience. Wikispecies is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and CC BY-SA 3.0. Started in September 2004, with biologists across the world invited to contribute, the project had grown a framework encompassing the Linnaean taxonomy with links to Wikipedia articles on individual species by April 2005. Benedikt Mandl co-ordinated the efforts of several people who are interested in getting involved with the project and contacted potential supporters in early summer 2004. Databases were evaluated and the administrators contacted, some of them have agreed on providing their data for Wikispecies. Mandl defined two major tasks: Figure out how the contents of the data base would need to be presented—by asking experts, potential non-professional users and comparing that with existing databases Figure out how to do the software, which hardware is required and how to cover the costs—by asking experts, looking for fellow volunteers and potential sponsorsAdvantages and disadvantages were discussed by the wikimedia-I mailing list.
The board of directors of the Wikimedia Foundation voted by 4 to 0 in favor of the establishment of a Wikispecies. The project is hosted at species.wikimedia.org. It was merged to a sister project of Wikimedia Foundation on September 14, 2004. On October 10, 2006, the project exceeded 75,000 articles. On May 20, 2007, the project exceeded 100,000 articles with a total of 5,495 registered users. On September 8, 2008, the project exceeded 150,000 articles with a total of 9,224 registered users. On October 23, 2011, the project reached 300,000 articles. On June 16, 2014, the project reached 400,000 articles. On January 7, 2017, the project reached 500,000 articles. On October 30, 2018, the project reached 600,000 articles, a total of 1.12 million pages. Wikispecies comprises taxon pages, additionally pages about synonyms, taxon authorities, taxonomical publications, institutions or repositories holding type specimen. Wikispecies asks users to use images from Wikimedia Commons. Wikispecies does not allow the use of content.
All Species Foundation Catalogue of Life Encyclopedia of Life Tree of Life Web Project List of online encyclopedias The Plant List Wikispecies, The free species directory that anyone can edit Species Community Portal The Wikispecies Charter, written by Wales