Scope and importance of botany

Scope and importance of botany

Molecular, genetic and biochemical level through organelles, cells, tissues, organs, individuals, plant populations, and communities of plants are all aspects of plant life that are studied. At each of these levels a botanist might be concerned with the classification (taxonomy), structure (anatomy and morphology), or function (physiology) of plant life.[28] Historically, all living things were grouped as either animals or plants,[29] and botany covered the study of all organisms not considered to be animals. Now, plants are considered to be organisms that obtain their energy from sunlight by means of photosynthesis and some closely related, chlorophyll-free parasitic plants. Other organisms previously included in the field of botany include bacteria, (studied in bacteriology), fungi, (mycology) including lichen-forming fungi (lichenology), non-chlorophyte algae (phycology) and viruses (virology). However, attention is still given to these groups by botanists, and fungi (including lichens), and photosynthetic protists are usually covered in introductory botany courses.[30][31] The study of plants is vital because they are a fundamental part of life on Earth, which generates the oxygen and food that allow humans and other life forms to exist. Through photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that in large amounts can affect global climate. Just as importantly for us, plants release oxygen into the atmosphere during photosynthesis. Additionally, they prevent soil erosion and are influential in the water cycle.[32] Plants are crucial to the future of human society as they pr vide food, oxygen, medicine, and products for people; as well as creating and preserving soil.[33] Paleobotanists study ancient plants in the fossil record. It is believed that early in the Earth's history, the evolution of photosynthetic plants altered the global atmosphere of the earth, changing the ancient atmosphere by oxidation.[34] [edit]Human nutrition Nearly all the food we eat comes (directly and indirectly) from plants, such as this American long grain rice Virtually all foods come either directly from plants, or indirectly from animals that eat plants.[35] Plants are the fundamental base of nearly all food chains because they use the energy from the sun and nutrients from the soil and atmosphere, converting them into a form that can be consumed and utilized by animals; this is what ecologists call the first trophic level.[36] Botanists also study how plants produce food we can eat and how to increase yields and therefore their work is important in mankind's ability to feed the world and provide food security for future generations, for example, through plant breeding.[37] Botanists also study weeds, plants which are considered to be a nuisance in a particular location. Weeds are a considerable problem in agriculture, and botany provides some of the basic science used to understand how to minimize 'weed' impact in agriculture and native ecosystems.[38] Ethnobotany is the study of the relationships between plants and people. When this kind of study is turned to the investigation of plant-people relationships in past times, it is referred to as archaeobotany or paleoethnobotany.