The Rapateaceae are a family of flowering plants. The botanical name has been recognized by most taxonomists; the APG II system of 2003 recognizes this family, assigns it to the order Poales in the clade commelinids, in the monocots. This represents a slight change from the APG system, 1998, which left the family unplaced as to order, but placed it in the same clade; the family is divided into 16 genera with a total of about 94 known species, found in tropical South America and tropical west Africa. The Cronquist system of 1981 recognized this family and placed it in the order Commelinales in the subclass Commelinidae in class Liliopsida in division Magnoliophyta. Links at CSDL
The Silurian is a geologic period and system spanning 24.6 million years from the end of the Ordovician Period, at 443.8 million years ago, to the beginning of the Devonian Period, 419.2 Mya. The Silurian is the shortest period of the Paleozoic Era; as with other geologic periods, the rock beds that define the period's start and end are well identified, but the exact dates are uncertain by several million years. The base of the Silurian is set at a series of major Ordovician–Silurian extinction events when 60% of marine species were wiped out. A significant evolutionary milestone during the Silurian was the diversification of jawed fish and bony fish. Multi-cellular life began to appear on land in the form of small, bryophyte-like and vascular plants that grew beside lakes and coastlines, terrestrial arthropods are first found on land during the Silurian. However, terrestrial life would not diversify and affect the landscape until the Devonian; the Silurian system was first identified by British geologist Roderick Murchison, examining fossil-bearing sedimentary rock strata in south Wales in the early 1830s.
He named the sequences for a Celtic tribe of Wales, the Silures, inspired by his friend Adam Sedgwick, who had named the period of his study the Cambrian, from the Latin name for Wales. This naming does not indicate any correlation between the occurrence of the Silurian rocks and the land inhabited by the Silures. In 1835 the two men presented a joint paper, under the title On the Silurian and Cambrian Systems, Exhibiting the Order in which the Older Sedimentary Strata Succeed each other in England and Wales, the germ of the modern geological time scale; as it was first identified, the "Silurian" series when traced farther afield came to overlap Sedgwick's "Cambrian" sequence, provoking furious disagreements that ended the friendship. Charles Lapworth resolved the conflict by defining a new Ordovician system including the contested beds. An early alternative name for the Silurian was "Gotlandian" after the strata of the Baltic island of Gotland; the French geologist Joachim Barrande, building on Murchison's work, used the term Silurian in a more comprehensive sense than was justified by subsequent knowledge.
He divided the Silurian rocks of Bohemia into eight stages. His interpretation was questioned in 1854 by Edward Forbes, the stages of Barrande, F, G and H, have since been shown to be Devonian. Despite these modifications in the original groupings of the strata, it is recognized that Barrande established Bohemia as a classic ground for the study of the earliest fossils; the Llandovery Epoch lasted from 443.8 ± 1.5 to 433.4 ± 2.8 mya, is subdivided into three stages: the Rhuddanian, lasting until 440.8 million years ago, the Aeronian, lasting to 438.5 million years ago, the Telychian. The epoch is named for the town of Llandovery in Wales; the Wenlock, which lasted from 433.4 ± 1.5 to 427.4 ± 2.8 mya, is subdivided into the Sheinwoodian and Homerian ages. It is named after Wenlock Edge in England. During the Wenlock, the oldest-known tracheophytes of the genus Cooksonia, appear; the complexity of later Gondwana plants like Baragwanathia, which resembled a modern clubmoss, indicates a much longer history for vascular plants, extending into the early Silurian or Ordovician.
The first terrestrial animals appear in the Wenlock, represented by air-breathing millipedes from Scotland. The Ludlow, lasting from 427.4 ± 1.5 to 423 ± 2.8 mya, comprises the Gorstian stage, lasting until 425.6 million years ago, the Ludfordian stage. It is named for the town of Ludlow in England; the Přídolí, lasting from 423 ± 1.5 to 419.2 ± 2.8 mya, is the final and shortest epoch of the Silurian. It is named after one locality at the Homolka a Přídolí nature reserve near the Prague suburb Slivenec in the Czech Republic. Přídolí is the old name of a cadastral field area. In North America a different suite of regional stages is sometimes used: Cayugan Lockportian Tonawandan Ontarian Alexandrian In Estonia the following suite of regional stages is used: Ohessaare stage Kaugatuma stage Kuressaare stage Paadla stage Rootsiküla stage Jaagarahu stage Jaani stage Adavere stage Raikküla stage Juuru stage With the supercontinent Gondwana covering the equator and much of the southern hemisphere, a large ocean occupied most of the northern half of the globe.
The high sea levels of the Silurian and the flat land resulted in a number of island chains, thus a rich diversity of environmental settings. During the Silurian, Gondwana continued a slow southward drift to high southern latitudes, but there is evidence that the Silurian icecaps were less extensive than those of the late-Ordovician glaciation; the southern continents remained united during this period. The melting of icecaps and glaciers contributed to a rise in sea level, recognizable from the fact that Silurian sediments overlie eroded Ordovician sediments, forming an unconformity; the continents of Avalonia and Laurentia drifted together near the equator, starting the formation of a second supercontinent known as Euramerica. When the proto-Europe coll
The Cambrian Period was the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, of the Phanerozoic Eon. The Cambrian lasted 55.6 million years from the end of the preceding Ediacaran Period 541 million years ago to the beginning of the Ordovician Period 485.4 mya. Its subdivisions, its base, are somewhat in flux; the period was established by Adam Sedgwick, who named it after Cambria, the Latin name of Wales, where Britain's Cambrian rocks are best exposed. The Cambrian is unique in its unusually high proportion of lagerstätte sedimentary deposits, sites of exceptional preservation where "soft" parts of organisms are preserved as well as their more resistant shells; as a result, our understanding of the Cambrian biology surpasses that of some periods. The Cambrian marked a profound change in life on Earth. Complex, multicellular organisms became more common in the millions of years preceding the Cambrian, but it was not until this period that mineralized—hence fossilized—organisms became common; the rapid diversification of life forms in the Cambrian, known as the Cambrian explosion, produced the first representatives of all modern animal phyla.
Phylogenetic analysis has supported the view that during the Cambrian radiation, metazoa evolved monophyletically from a single common ancestor: flagellated colonial protists similar to modern choanoflagellates. Although diverse life forms prospered in the oceans, the land is thought to have been comparatively barren—with nothing more complex than a microbial soil crust and a few molluscs that emerged to browse on the microbial biofilm. Most of the continents were dry and rocky due to a lack of vegetation. Shallow seas flanked the margins of several continents created during the breakup of the supercontinent Pannotia; the seas were warm, polar ice was absent for much of the period. Despite the long recognition of its distinction from younger Ordovician rocks and older Precambrian rocks, it was not until 1994 that the Cambrian system/period was internationally ratified; the base of the Cambrian lies atop a complex assemblage of trace fossils known as the Treptichnus pedum assemblage. The use of Treptichnus pedum, a reference ichnofossil to mark the lower boundary of the Cambrian, is difficult since the occurrence of similar trace fossils belonging to the Treptichnids group are found well below the T. pedum in Namibia and Newfoundland, in the western USA.
The stratigraphic range of T. pedum overlaps the range of the Ediacaran fossils in Namibia, in Spain. The Cambrian Period was followed by the Ordovician Period; the Cambrian is divided into ten ages. Only three series and six stages are named and have a GSSP; because the international stratigraphic subdivision is not yet complete, many local subdivisions are still used. In some of these subdivisions the Cambrian is divided into three series with locally differing names – the Early Cambrian, Middle Cambrian and Furongian. Rocks of these epochs are referred to as belonging to Upper Cambrian. Trilobite zones allow biostratigraphic correlation in the Cambrian; each of the local series is divided into several stages. The Cambrian is divided into several regional faunal stages of which the Russian-Kazakhian system is most used in international parlance: *Most Russian paleontologists define the lower boundary of the Cambrian at the base of the Tommotian Stage, characterized by diversification and global distribution of organisms with mineral skeletons and the appearance of the first Archaeocyath bioherms.
The International Commission on Stratigraphy list the Cambrian period as beginning at 541 million years ago and ending at 485.4 million years ago. The lower boundary of the Cambrian was held to represent the first appearance of complex life, represented by trilobites; the recognition of small shelly fossils before the first trilobites, Ediacara biota earlier, led to calls for a more defined base to the Cambrian period. After decades of careful consideration, a continuous sedimentary sequence at Fortune Head, Newfoundland was settled upon as a formal base of the Cambrian period, to be correlated worldwide by the earliest appearance of Treptichnus pedum. Discovery of this fossil a few metres below the GSSP led to the refinement of this statement, it is the T. pedum ichnofossil assemblage, now formally used to correlate the base of the Cambrian. This formal designation allowed radiometric dates to be obtained from samples across the globe that corresponded to the base of the Cambrian. Early dates of 570 million years ago gained favour, though the methods used to obtain this number are now considered to be unsuitable and inaccurate.
A more precise date using modern radiometric dating yield a date of 541 ± 0.3 million years ago. The ash horizon in Oman from which this date was recovered corresponds to a marked fall in the abundance of carbon-13 that correlates to equivalent excursions elsewhere in the world, to the disappearance of distinctive Ediacaran fossils. There are arguments that the dated horizon in Oman does not correspond to the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary, but represents a facies change from marine to evaporite-dominated strata — which w
Flagellaria is the sole genus in the flowering plant family Flagellariaceae with only five species. The family has been recognized by few taxonomists; the APG II system, of 2003, does recognize such a family, assigns it to the order Poales in the clade commelinids, in the monocots. Flagellaria consists of only five known species, found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa and various island of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Flagellaria collaris Wepfer & H. P. Linder - Fiji Flagellaria gigantea Hook.f. - New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Niue, New Guinea Flagellaria guineensis Schumach. - tropical and southern Africa, Sri Lanka Flagellaria indica L. - Asia, Australia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues Island, Tanzania Flagellaria neocaledonica Schltr. - Solomon Islands, New Caledonia Flagellariaceae in L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz; the families of flowering plants: descriptions, identification, information retrieval. Version: 27 April 2006. Https://web.archive.org/web/20060424062016/http://delta-intkey.com/ Monocot families Flagellariaceae in Flora of China Florabase NCBI Taxonomy Browser links at CSDL
The Joinvilleaceae are a family of flowering plants with a single genus including four species. The APG II system, of 2003 assigns it to the order Poales in the clade commelinids in the monocots; the family consists of one genus with four accepted species, distributed from the Malay Peninsula to the Caroline Islands and high islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is evolutionarily significant as a relictual group related to grasses, they resemble large grass plants, in both general appearance and microanatomy, but possess fleshy fruits. Joinvillea ascendens Gaudich. Ex Brongn. & Gris Hawaiian Islands Joinvillea borneensis Becc. Western Malesia to Caroline Islands Joinvillea bryanii Christoph. Samoa Joinvillea plicata Newell & B. C. Stone Solomon Islands to New Caledonia and southwest Pacific links at CSDL
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
Starch or amylum is a polymeric carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by most green plants as energy storage, it is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is contained in large amounts in staple foods like potatoes, maize and cassava. Pure starch is a white and odorless powder, insoluble in cold water or alcohol, it consists of two types of molecules: the branched amylopectin. Depending on the plant, starch contains 20 to 25% amylose and 75 to 80% amylopectin by weight. Glycogen, the glucose store of animals, is a more branched version of amylopectin. In industry, starch is converted into sugars, for example by malting, fermented to produce ethanol in the manufacture of beer and biofuel, it is processed to produce many of the sugars used in processed foods. Mixing most starches in warm water produces a paste, such as wheatpaste, which can be used as a thickening, stiffening or gluing agent; the biggest industrial non-food use of starch is as an adhesive in the papermaking process.
Starch can be applied to parts of some garments before ironing. The word "starch" is from a Germanic root with the meanings "strong, strengthen, stiffen". Modern German Stärke is related; the Greek term for starch, "amylon", is related. It provides the root amyl, used as a prefix for several 5-carbon compounds related to or derived from starch. Starch grains from the rhizomes of Typha as flour have been identified from grinding stones in Europe dating back to 30,000 years ago. Starch grains from sorghum were found on grind stones in caves in Ngalue, Mozambique dating up to 100,000 years ago. Pure extracted wheat starch paste was used in Ancient Egypt to glue papyrus; the extraction of starch is first described in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder around AD 77–79. Romans used it in cosmetic creams, to powder the hair and to thicken sauces. Persians and Indians used it to make dishes similar to gothumai wheat halva. Rice starch as surface treatment of paper has been used in paper production in China since 700 CE.
In addition to starchy plants consumed directly, by 2008 66 million tonnes of starch were being produced per year worldwide. In 2011 production was increased to 73 million ton. In the EU the starch industry produced about 8.5 million tonnes in 2008, with around 40% being used for industrial applications and 60% for food uses, most of the latter as glucose syrups. In 2017 EU production was 11 million ton of which 9,4 million ton was consumed in the EU and of which 54% were starch sweeteners. US produced about 27,5 million ton starch in 2017 of which about 8,2 million ton high fructose syrup and 6,2 million ton glucose syrups and 2,5 million ton starch products, the rest of the starch was used for producing ethanol. Most green plants use starch as their energy store; the extra glucose is changed into starch, more complex than glucose. An exception is the family Asteraceae. Inulin-like fructans are present in grasses such as wheat, in onions and garlic and asparagus. In photosynthesis, plants use light energy to produce glucose from carbon dioxide.
The glucose is used to generate the chemical energy required for general metabolism, to make organic compounds such as nucleic acids, lipids and structural polysaccharides such as cellulose, or is stored in the form of starch granules, in amyloplasts. Toward the end of the growing season, starch accumulates in twigs of trees near the buds. Fruit, seeds and tubers store starch to prepare for the next growing season. Glucose is soluble in water, binds with water and takes up much space and is osmotically active. Glucose molecules are bound in starch by the hydrolyzed alpha bonds; the same type of bond is found in the animal reserve polysaccharide glycogen. This is in contrast to many structural polysaccharides such as chitin and peptidoglycan, which are bound by beta bonds and are much more resistant to hydrolysis. Plants produce starch by first converting glucose 1-phosphate to ADP-glucose using the enzyme glucose-1-phosphate adenylyltransferase; this step requires energy in the form of ATP. The enzyme starch synthase adds the ADP-glucose via a 1,4-alpha glycosidic bond to a growing chain of glucose residues, liberating ADP and creating amylose.
The ADP-glucose is certainly added to the non-reducing end of the amylose polymer, as the UDP-glucose is added to the non-reducing end of glycogen during glycogen synthesis. Starch branching enzyme introduces 1,6-alpha glycosidic bonds between the amylose chains, creating the branched amylopectin; the starch debranching enzyme isoamylase removes some of these branches. Several isoforms of these enzymes exist, leading to a complex synthesis process. Glycogen and amylopectin have similar structure, but the former has about one branch point per ten 1,4-alpha bonds, compared to about one branch point per thirty 1,4-alpha bonds in amylopectin. Amylopectin is synthesized from ADP-glucose while mammals and fungi synthesize glycogen from UDP-glucose. In addition to starch synthesis in plants, starch can be synthesized from non-food starch mediated by an enzyme cocktail. In this cell-free biosystem, beta-1,4-glycosidic bond-linked cellulose is hydrolyzed to cello