Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, form part of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province; the range is sometimes called the Smoky Mountains and the name is shortened to the Smokies. The Great Smokies are best known as the home of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which protects most of the range; the park was established in 1934, with over 11 million visits per year, it is the most visited national park in the United States. The Great Smokies are part of an International Biosphere Reserve; the range is home to an estimated 187,000 acres of old growth forest, constituting the largest such stand east of the Mississippi River. The cove hardwood forests in the range's lower elevations are among the most diverse ecosystems in North America, the Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest that coats the range's upper elevations is the largest of its kind; the Great Smokies are home to the densest black bear population in the Eastern United States and the most diverse salamander population outside of the tropics.
Along with the Biosphere reserve, the Great Smokies have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The U. S. National Park Service preserves and maintains 78 structures within the national park that were once part of the numerous small Appalachian communities scattered throughout the range's river valleys and coves; the park contains five historic districts and nine individual listings on the National Register of Historic Places. The name "Smoky" comes from the natural fog that hangs over the range and presents as large smoke plumes from a distance; this fog is caused by the vegetation exhaling volatile organic compounds, chemicals that have a high vapor pressure and form vapors at normal temperature and pressure. The Great Smoky Mountains stretch from the Pigeon River in the northeast to the Little Tennessee River to the southeast; the northwestern half of the range gives way to a series of elongate ridges known as the "Foothills," the outermost of which include Chilhowee Mountain and English Mountain.
The range is bounded on the south by the Tuckasegee River and to the southeast by Soco Creek and Jonathan Creek. The Great Smokies comprise parts of Blount County, Sevier County, Cocke County in Tennessee and Swain County and Haywood County in North Carolina; the sources of several rivers are located in the Smokies, including the Little Pigeon River, the Oconaluftee River, Little River. Streams in the Smokies are part of the Tennessee River watershed and are thus west of the Eastern Continental Divide; the largest stream wholly within the park is Abrams Creek, which rises in Cades Cove and empties into the Chilhowee Lake impoundment of the Little Tennessee River near Chilhowee Dam. Other major streams include Hazel Creek and Eagle Creek in the southwest, Raven Fork near Oconaluftee, Cosby Creek near Cosby, Roaring Fork near Gatlinburg; the Little Tennessee River passes through five impoundments along the range's southwestern boundary, namely Tellico Lake, Chilhowee Lake, Calderwood Lake, Cheoah Lake, Fontana Lake.
The highest point in the Smokies is Clingmans Dome. The mountain is the third highest in the Appalachian range. Clingmans Dome has the range's highest topographical prominence at 4,503 feet. Mount Le Conte is the tallest mountain in the range, rising 5,301 feet from its base in Gatlinburg to its 6,593-foot summit; the Smokies rise prominently above the surrounding low terrain. For example, Mount Le Conte rises more than a mile above its base; because of their prominence, the Smokies receive heavy annual amounts of precipitation. Annual precipitation amounts range from 50 to 80 inches, snowfall in the winter can be heavy on the higher slopes. For comparison, the surrounding terrain has annual precipitation of around 40 to 50 inches. Flooding occurs after heavy rain. In 2004, the remnants of Hurricane Frances caused major flooding and high winds, soon followed by Hurricane Ivan, making the situation worse. Other post-hurricanes, including Hurricane Hugo in 1989, have caused similar damage in the Smokies.
Most of the rocks in the Great Smoky Mountains consist of Late Precambrian rocks that are part of a formation known as the Ocoee Supergroup. The Ocoee Supergroup consists of metamorphosed sandstones, phyllites and slate. Early Precambrian rocks, which include the oldest rocks in the Smokies, comprise the dominant rock type in the Raven Fork Valley and lower Tuckasegee River between Cherokee and Bryson City, they consist of metamorphic gneiss and schist. Cambrian sedimentary rocks are found among the outer reaches of the Foothills to the northwest and in limestone coves such as Cades Cove; the Precambrian gneiss and schists—the oldest rocks in the Smokies—formed over a billion years ago from the accumulation of marine sediments and igneous rock in a primordial ocean. In the Late Precambrian period, this ocean expanded, the more recent Ocoee Supergroup rocks formed from accumulations of the eroding land mass onto the ocean's continental shelf. By the end of the Paleozoic era, the ancient ocean had deposited a thick layer of marine sediments which left behind sedimentary rocks such as limestone.
During the Ordovician period, the North American and African plates collided, destroying the ancient ocean and initiating the Alleghenian orogeny—the mountain-building epoch that created the Appalachian range. T
Frederick Funston known as Fighting Fred Funston, was a general in the United States Army, best known for his roles in the Spanish–American War and the Philippine–American War. He received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Philippine–American War. Funston was born in Ohio to Edward H. Funston and Anne Eliza Mitchell Funston. In 1867, his family moved to Kansas, his father, was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1884. A slight individual who stood just 5 ft 4 in tall and weighed only 120 pounds, Funston was outscored on the 1884 admissions test to the United States Military Academy attended the University of Kansas from 1885 to 1888, but did not graduate. While there, he joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and became friends with future Pulitzer Prize winner William Allen White, he worked as a trainman for the Santa Fe Railroad before becoming a reporter in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1890. After one year as a journalist, Funston moved into more scientific exploration, focusing on botany.
First serving as part of an exploring and surveying expedition in Death Valley, California. In 1891, he traveled to Alaska to spend the next two years in work for the United States Department of Agriculture, he joined the Cuban Revolutionary Army, fighting for independence from Spain in 1896 after having been inspired to join following a rousing speech given by Gen. Daniel E. Sickles at Madison Square Garden in New York City. After a bout of malaria, Funston's weight dropped to an alarming 95 pounds and he was given a leave of absence by the Cubans; when Funston returned to the United States, he was commissioned as a colonel of the 20th Kansas Infantry in the United States Army on May 13, 1898, in the early days of the Spanish–American War. In the fall, he met Eda Blankart at a patriotic gathering, after a brief courtship they married on October 25, 1898. Within two weeks of the marriage, he landed in the Philippines as part of the U. S. forces. Funston was in command in various engagements with Filipino nationalists.
In April 1899, he took a Filipino position at Calumpit by swimming the Bagbag River crossing the Pampanga River under heavy fire. For his bravery, Funston was soon promoted to the rank of brigadier general of Volunteers and awarded the Medal of Honor on February 14, 1900. Funston played the key role in planning and executing the capture of Filipino President Emilio Aguinaldo on March 23, 1901, at Palanan; the capture of Aguinaldo made Funston a national hero, although the anti-imperialist faction criticized him when the details of the capture became known. Funston's party, escorted by a company of Macabebe scouts, had gained access to Aguinaldo's camp by posing as prisoners of Macabebe scouts. In recognition of his capture of Aguinaldo, Funston was appointed a brigadier general in the Regular Army at the age of 35. Funston's mission to capture Aguinaldo brought him a Regular Army commission just as he was scheduled to be mustered out of the volunteer service. In 1902, Funston returned to the United States to increased public opposition to the Philippine–American War and became the focus of a great deal of controversy.
Mark Twain, a strong opponent of U. S. imperialism, published a sarcasm-filled denunciation of Funston's mission and methods under the title "A Defence of General Funston" in the North American Review. Poet Ernest Crosby wrote a satirical, anti-imperialist novel, Captain Jinks, that parodied the career of Funston. Funston was considered a useful advocate for American expansionism, but when he publicly made insulting remarks about anti-imperialist Republican Senator George Frisbie Hoar of Massachusetts, mocking his "overheated conscience" in Denver, just before a planned trip to Boston, President Theodore Roosevelt denied his furlough request, ordered him silenced and reprimanded; the house had been the seat of General Emilio Aguinaldo's First Philippine Republic when he established it as his headquarters in San Isidro during the last part of his odyssey from the American forces. On March 29, 1899, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo arrived in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, proclaimed the town capital of the First Philippine Republic.
He stayed in the house. When the Americans occupied San Isidro, the Sideco house served as the headquarters of Gen. Frederick Funston, who would capture General Aguinaldo in Palanan, Isabela. General Aguinaldo's capture is said to have been planned in this house, it is now occupied by a Christian organization. In 1906, Funston was in command of the Presidio of San Francisco when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake hit, he declared martial law in response, although he did not have the authority to do so, martial law was never declared. Funston attempted to defend the city from the spread of fire, directed the demolition of buildings using explosives, including black powder, artillery charges, dynamite, to create firebreaks; however Funston's orders resulted in more fires. Funston gave orders to shoot all looters on sight. At the corner of Market and Third Streets on Wednesday I saw a man attempt to cut the fingers from the hand of a dead woman in order to secure the rings which adorned the stiffened fingers.
One man made the trooper believe that one of the dead bodies lying on a pile of rocks was his mother, he was permitted to go up to the body. Overcome by grief, he threw himself across the corpse. In another instant the soldiers discovered that he was chewing the diamond earrings from the ears of the dead woman... The diamonds were found in the m
Plant ecology is a subdiscipline of ecology which studies the distribution and abundance of plants, the effects of environmental factors upon the abundance of plants, the interactions among and between plants and other organisms. Examples of these are the distribution of temperate deciduous forests in North America, the effects of drought or flooding upon plant survival, competition among desert plants for water, or effects of herds of grazing animals upon the composition of grasslands. A global overview of the Earth's major vegetation types is provided by O. W. Archibold, he recognizes 11 major vegetation types: tropical forests, tropical savannas, arid regions, Mediterranean ecosystems, temperate forest ecosystems, temperate grasslands, coniferous forests, terrestrial wetlands, freshwater ecosystems and coastal/marine systems. This breadth of topics shows the complexity of plant ecology, since it includes plants from floating single-celled algae up to large canopy forming trees. One feature that defines plants is photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis is the process of a chemical reactions to create glucose and oxgyen, vital for plant life. One of the most important aspects of plant ecology is the role plants have played in creating the oxygenated atmosphere of earth, an event that occurred some 2 billion years ago, it can be dated by the deposition of banded iron formations, distinctive sedimentary rocks with large amounts of iron oxide. At the same time, plants began removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thereby initiating the process of controlling Earth's climate. A long term trend of the Earth has been toward increasing oxygen and decreasing carbon dioxide, many other events in the Earth's history, like the first movement of life onto land, are tied to this sequence of events. One of the early classic books on plant ecology was written by J. E. Weaver and F. E. Clements, it talks broadly about plant communities, the importance of forces like competition and processes like succession. Plant ecology can be divided by levels of organization including plant ecophysiology, plant population ecology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, landscape ecology and biosphere ecology.
The study of plants and vegetation is complicated by their form. First, most plants are rooted in the soil, which makes it difficult to observe and measure nutrient uptake and species interactions. Second, plants reproduce vegetatively, asexually, in a way that makes it difficult to distinguish individual plants. Indeed, the concept of an individual is doubtful, since a tree may be regarded as a large collection of linked meristems. Hence, plant ecology and animal ecology have different styles of approach to problems that involve processes like reproduction and mutualism; some plant ecologists have placed considerable emphasis upon trying to treat plant populations as if they were animal populations, focusing on population ecology. Many other ecologists believe that while it is useful to draw upon population ecology to solve certain scientific problems, plants demand that ecologists work with multiple perspectives, appropriate to the problem, the scale and the situation. Plant ecology has its origin in the application of plant physiology to the questions raised by plant geographers.
Carl Ludwig Willdenow was one of the first to note that similar climates produced similar types of vegetation when they were located in different parts of the world. Willdenow's student, Alexander von Humboldt, used physiognomy to describe vegetation types and observed that the distribution vegetation types was based on environmental factors. Plant geographers who built upon Humboldt's work included Joakim Frederik Schouw, A. P. de Candolle, August Grisebach and Anton Kerner von Marilaun. Schouw's work, published in 1822, linked plant distributions to environmental factors and established the practice of naming plant associations by adding the suffix -etum to the name of the dominant species. Working from herbarium collections, De Candolle searched for general rules of plant distribution and settled on using temperature as well. Grisebach's two-volume work, Die Vegetation der Erde nach Ihrer Klimatischen Anordnung, published in 1872, saw plant geography reach its "ultimate form" as a descriptive field.
Starting in the 1870s, Swiss botanist Simon Schwendener, together with his students and colleagues, established the link between plant morphology and physiological adaptations, laying the groundwork for the first ecology textbooks, Eugenius Warming's Plantesamfund and Andreas Schimper's 1898 Pflanzengeographie auf Physiologischer Grundlage. Warming incorporated plant morphology, physiology taxonomy and biogeography into plant geography to create the field of plant ecology. Although more morphological than physiological, Schimper's has been considered the beginning of plant physiological ecology. Plant ecology was built around static ideas of plant distribution. Henry Chandler Cowles' studies of plant succession on the Lake Michigan sand dunes and Frederic Clements' 1916 monograph on the subject established it as a key element of plant ecology. Plant ecology developed within the wider discipline of ecology over the twentieth century. Inspired by Warming's Plantesamfund, Arthur Tansley set out to map British plant communities.
In 1904 he teamed up with William Gardner Smith and others involved in vegetation mapping to establish the Central Committee for the Survey and Study of British Vegetation shortened to British Vegetation Committee. In 1913, the British Vegetation Committee organised the British Ecological
Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace was a British naturalist, geographer and biologist. He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution through natural selection; this prompted Darwin to publish his own ideas in On the Origin of Species. Wallace did extensive fieldwork, first in the Amazon River basin and in the Malay Archipelago, where he identified the faunal divide now termed the Wallace Line, which separates the Indonesian archipelago into two distinct parts: a western portion in which the animals are of Asian origin, an eastern portion where the fauna reflect Australasia, he was considered the 19th century's leading expert on the geographical distribution of animal species and is sometimes called the "father of biogeography". Wallace was one of the leading evolutionary thinkers of the 19th century and made many other contributions to the development of evolutionary theory besides being co-discoverer of natural selection; these included the concept of warning colouration in animals, the Wallace effect, a hypothesis on how natural selection could contribute to speciation by encouraging the development of barriers against hybridisation.
Wallace's 1904 book Man's Place in the Universe was the first serious attempt by a biologist to evaluate the likelihood of life on other planets. He was one of the first scientists to write a serious exploration of the subject of whether there was life on Mars. Wallace was attracted to unconventional ideas, his advocacy of spiritualism and his belief in a non-material origin for the higher mental faculties of humans strained his relationship with some members of the scientific establishment. Aside from scientific work, he was a social activist, critical of what he considered to be an unjust social and economic system in 19th-century Britain, his interest in natural history resulted in his being one of the first prominent scientists to raise concerns over the environmental impact of human activity. He was a prolific author who wrote on both scientific and social issues. Since its publication in 1869 it has never been out of print. Wallace had financial difficulties throughout much of his life, his Amazon and Far Eastern trips were supported by the sale of specimens he collected and, after he lost most of the considerable money he made from those sales in unsuccessful investments, he had to support himself from the publications he produced.
Unlike some of his contemporaries in the British scientific community, such as Darwin and Charles Lyell, he had no family wealth to fall back on, he was unsuccessful in finding a long-term salaried position, receiving no regular income until he was awarded a small government pension, through Darwin's efforts, in 1881. Alfred Wallace was born in the Welsh village near Usk, Monmouthshire, he was the eighth of nine children of Mary Anne Greenell. Mary Anne was English, his family, like many Wallaces, claimed a connection to William Wallace, a leader of Scottish forces during the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 13th century. Thomas Wallace never practised law, he owned some income-generating property, but bad investments and failed business ventures resulted in a steady deterioration of the family's financial position. His mother was from a middle-class English family from Hertford, north of London; when Wallace was five years old, his family moved to Hertford. There he attended Hertford Grammar School until financial difficulties forced his family to withdraw him in 1836, when he was aged 14.
Wallace moved to London to board with his older brother John, a 19-year-old apprentice builder. This was a stopgap measure until William, his oldest brother, was ready to take him on as an apprentice surveyor. While in London, Alfred attended lectures and read books at the London Mechanics Institute. Here he was exposed to the radical political ideas of the Welsh social reformer Robert Owen and of Thomas Paine, he left London in 1837 to work as his apprentice for six years. At the end of 1839, they moved to Kington, near the Welsh border, before settling at Neath in Glamorgan in Wales. Between 1840 and 1843, Wallace did land surveying work in the countryside of the west of England and Wales. By the end of 1843, William's business had declined due to difficult economic conditions, Wallace, at the age of 20, left in January. One result of Wallace's early travels is a modern controversy about his nationality. Since Wallace was born in Monmouthshire, some sources have considered him to be Welsh. However, some historians have questioned this because neither of his parents was Welsh, his family only lived in Monmouthshire, the Welsh people Wallace knew in his childhood considered him to be English, because Wallace himself referred to himself as English rather than Welsh.
One Wallace scholar has stated that the most reasonable interpretation is therefore that he was an Englishman born in Wales. After a brief period of unemployment, he was hired as a master at the Collegiate School in Leicester to teach drawing and surveying. Wallace spent many hours at the library in Leicester: he read An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Robert Malthus, one evening he met the entomologist Henry Bates. Bates was 19 years old, in 1843 he had published a paper on beetles in the
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution, located on the National Mall in Washington, D. C. United States, it is open 364 days a year. In 2016, with 7.1 million visitors, it was the fourth most visited museum in the world and the most visited natural-history museum in the world. Opened in 1910, the museum on the National Mall was one of the first Smithsonian buildings constructed to hold the national collections and research facilities; the main building has an overall area of 1,500,000 square feet with 325,000 square feet of exhibition and public space and houses over 1,000 employees. The museum's collections contain over 126 million specimens of plants, fossils, rocks, human remains, human cultural artifacts, it is home to about 185 professional natural-history scientists—the largest group of scientists dedicated to the study of natural and cultural history in the world. The United States National Museum was founded in 1846 as part of the Smithsonian Institution.
The museum was housed in the Smithsonian Institution Building, better known today as the Smithsonian Castle. A formal exhibit hall opened in 1858; the growing collection led to the construction of the National Museum Building. Covering a then-enormous 2.25 acres, it was built in just 15 months at a cost of $310,000. It opened in March 1881. Congress authorized construction of a new building on June 28, 1902. On January 29, 1903, a special committee composed of members of Congress and representatives from the Smithsonian's board of regents published a report asking Congress to fund a much larger structure than planned; the regents began considering sites for the new building in March, by April 12 settled on a site on the north side of B Street NW between 9th and 12th Streets. The D. C. architectural firm of Hornblower & Marshall was chosen to design the structure. Testing of the soil for the foundations was set for July 1903, with construction expected to take three years; the Natural History Building opened its doors to the public on March 17, 1910, in order to provide the Smithsonian Institution with more space for collections and research.
The building was not completed until June 1911. The structure cost $3.5 million dollars. The Neoclassical style building was the first structure constructed on the north side of the National Mall as part of the 1901 McMillan Commission plan. In addition to the Smithsonian's natural history collection, it housed the American history and cultural collections. Between 1981 and 2003, the National Museum of Natural History had 11 acting directors. There were six directors alone between 1990 and 2002. Turnover was high as the museum's directors were disenchanted by low levels of funding and the Smithsonian's inability to define the museum's mission. Robert W. Fri was named the museum's director in 1996. One of the largest donations in Smithsonian history was made during Fri's tenure. Kenneth E. Behring donated $20 million in 1997 to modernize the museum. Fri resigned in 2001 after disagreeing with Smithsonian leadership over the reorganization of the museum's scientific research programs. J. Dennis O'Connor, Provost of the Smithsonian Institution was named acting director of the museum on July 25, 2001.
Eight months O'Conner resigned to become the vice president of research and dean of the graduate school at the University of Maryland. Douglas Erwin, a paleontologist at the National Museum of Natural History, was appointed interim director in June 2002. In January 2003, the Smithsonian announced that Cristián Samper, a Colombian with an M. Sc. and Ph. D. from Harvard University, would become the museum's permanent director on March 31, 2003. Samper founded the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute and ran the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute after 2001. Smithsonian officials said. Under Samper's direction, the museum opened the $100 million Behring Hall of Mammals in November 2003, received $60 million in 2004 for the Sant Hall of Oceans, received a $1 million gift from Tiffany & Co. for the purchase of precious gems for the National Gem Collection. On March 25, 2007, Lawrence M. Small, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and the organization's highest-ranking appointed official, resigned abruptly after public reports of lavish spending.
On March 27, 2007 Samper was appointed Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian. Paul G. Risser, former chancellor of the University of Oklahoma, was named Acting Director of the Museum of Natural History on March 29. Samper's tenure at the museum was not without controversy. In May 2007, Robert Sullivan, the former associate director in charge of exhibitions at the National Museum of Natural History, charged that Samper and Smithsonian Undersecretary for Science David Evans ordered "last minute" changes in the exhibit "Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely" to tone down the role of human beings in the discussion of global warming, to make global warming seem more uncertain than depicted. Samper denied that he knew of any scientific objections to the changes, said that no political pressure had been applied to the Smithsonian to make the changes. In November 2007, The Washington Post reported that an interagency group of scientists from the Department of the Interior, NASA, Nati
Paleobotany spelled as palaeobotany, is the branch of paleontology or paleobiology dealing with the recovery and identification of plant remains from geological contexts, their use for the biological reconstruction of past environments, both the evolutionary history of plants, with a bearing upon the evolution of life in general. A synonym is paleophytology. Paleobotany includes the study of terrestrial plant fossils, as well as the study of prehistoric marine photoautotrophs, such as photosynthetic algae, seaweeds or kelp. A related field is palynology, the study of fossilized and extant spores and pollen. Paleobotany is important in the reconstruction of ancient ecological systems and climate, known as paleoecology and paleoclimatology respectively. Paleobotany has become important to the field of archaeology for the use of phytoliths in relative dating and in paleoethnobotany; the emergence of paleobotany as a scientific discipline can be seen in the early 19th century in the works of the German palaeontologist Ernst Friedrich von Schlotheim, the Czech nobleman and scholar Kaspar Maria von Sternberg, the French botanist Adolphe-Théodore Brongniart.
Macroscopic remains of true vascular plants are first found in the fossil record during the Silurian Period of the Paleozoic era. Some dispersed, fragmentary fossils of disputed affinity spores and cuticles, have been found in rocks from the Ordovician Period in Oman, are thought to derive from liverwort- or moss-grade fossil plants. An important early land plant fossil locality is the Rhynie Chert, found outside the village of Rhynie in Scotland; the Rhynie chert is an Early Devonian sinter deposit composed of silica. It is exceptional due to its preservation of several different clades of plants, from mosses and lycopods to more unusual, problematic forms. Many fossil animals, including arthropods and arachnids, are found in the Rhynie Chert, it offers a unique window on the history of early terrestrial life. Plant-derived macrofossils become abundant in the Late Devonian and include tree trunks and roots; the earliest tree was thought to be Archaeopteris, which bears simple, fern-like leaves spirally arranged on branches atop a conifer-like trunk, though it is now known to be the discovered Wattieza.
Widespread coal swamp deposits across North America and Europe during the Carboniferous Period contain a wealth of fossils containing arborescent lycopods up to 30 meters tall, abundant seed plants, such as conifers and seed ferns, countless smaller, herbaceous plants. Angiosperms evolved during the Mesozoic, flowering plant pollen and leaves first appear during the Early Cretaceous 130 million years ago. A plant fossil is any preserved part of a plant; such fossils may be prehistoric impressions that are many millions of years old, or bits of charcoal that are only a few hundred years old. Prehistoric plants are various groups of plants. Plant fossils can be preserved in a variety of ways, each of which can give different types of information about the original parent plant; these modes of preservation are discussed in the general pages on fossils but may be summarised in a palaeobotanical context as follows. Adpressions; these are the most found type of plant fossil. They provide good morphological detail of dorsiventral plant parts such as leaves.
If the cuticle is preserved, they can yield fine anatomical detail of the epidermis. Little other detail of cellular anatomy is preserved. Petrifactions; these provide fine detail of the cell anatomy of the plant tissue. Morphological detail can be determined by serial sectioning, but this is both time consuming and difficult. Moulds and casts; these only tend to preserve the more robust plant parts such as seeds or woody stems. They can provide information about the three-dimensional form of the plant, in the case of casts of tree stumps can provide evidence of the density of the original vegetation. However, they preserve any fine morphological detail or cell anatomy. A subset of such fossils are pith casts, where the centre of a stem is either hollow or has delicate pith. After death, sediment forms a cast of the central cavity of the stem; the best known examples of pith casts are in cordaites. Authigenic mineralisations; these can provide fine, three-dimensional morphological detail, have proved important in the study of reproductive structures that can be distorted in adpressions.
However, as they are formed in mineral nodules, such fossils can be of large size. Fusain. Fire destroys plant tissue but sometimes charcoalified remains can preserve fine morphological detail, lost in other modes of preservation. Fusain fossils are delicate and small, but because of their buoyancy can drift for long distances and can thus provide evidence of vegetation away from areas of sedimentation. Plant fossils always represent disarticulated parts of plants; those few examples of plant fossils that appear to be the remains of whole plants in fact are incomplete as the internal cellular tis
Flora is the plant life occurring in a particular region or time the occurring or indigenous—native plant life. The corresponding term for animal life is fauna. Flora and other forms of life such as fungi are collectively referred to as biota. Sometimes bacteria and fungi are referred to as flora, as in the terms gut flora or skin flora; the word "flora" comes from the Latin name of Flora, the goddess of plants and fertility in Roman mythology. The technical term "flora" is derived from a metonymy of this goddess at the end of the sixteenth century, it was first used in poetry to denote the natural vegetation of an area, but soon assumed the meaning of a work cataloguing such vegetation. Moreover, "Flora" was used to refer to the flowers of an artificial garden in the seventeenth century; the distinction between vegetation and flora was first made by Jules Thurmann. Prior to this, the two terms were used indiscriminately. Plants are grouped into floras based on region, special environment, or climate.
Regions can be distinct habitats like mountain vs. flatland. Floras can mean plant life of a historic era as in fossil flora. Lastly, floras may be subdivided by special environments: Native flora; the native and indigenous flora of an area. Agricultural and horticultural flora; the plants that are deliberately grown by humans. Weed flora. Traditionally this classification was applied to plants regarded as undesirable, studied in efforts to control or eradicate them. Today the designation is less used as a classification of plant life, since it includes three different types of plants: weedy species, invasive species, native and introduced non-weedy species that are agriculturally undesirable. Many native plants considered weeds have been shown to be beneficial or necessary to various ecosystems; the flora of a particular area or time period can be documented in a publication known as a "flora". Floras may require specialist botanical knowledge to use with any effectiveness. Traditionally they are books.
Simon Paulli's Flora Danica of 1648 is the first book titled "Flora" to refer to the plant world of a certain region. It describes medicinal plants growing in Denmark; the Flora Sinensis by the Polish Jesuit Michał Boym is another early example of a book titled "Flora". However, despite its title it covered not only plants, but some animals of the region, China and India. A published flora contains diagnostic keys; these are dichotomous keys, which require the user to examine a plant, decide which one of two alternatives given best applies to the plant. Biome — a major regional group of distinctive plant and animal communities Fauna Fauna and Flora Preservation Society Herbal Horticultural flora Megaflora Pharmacopoeia The Plant List Vegetation — a general term for the plant life of a regionCategoriesFlora by continent Flora by country Flora by region eFloras — a collection of on-line floras Chilebosque — checklist of Chilean native flora Flora of NW Europe with descriptions and a quiz to test your knowledge Flora of Australia Online Flora of New Zealand Series Online