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What is Botany?
Botany is the scientific discipline studying botanical plant life. Plants are essential for the health of humans and other life on earth, which means that some form of botany is crucial to everybody’s well-being. This makes it a very broad field that encompasses many disciplines including ecology, forestry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology.
There are over 500 million species of plants on earth. The number of scientists specializing in botany is small compared to the huge number of plants living on our planet today and it will continue to remain so due to specialization in other fields such as horticulture or forestry science.
Botany originated out of herbalism and plant medicine. A wide range of branches and specialties have developed since then; however, some aspects of its history are still known. The ancient Chinese practiced botany as early as 1600 BC, while Aristotle wrote on botany in 350 B.C..
Branches Of Botany
1) Plant Taxonomy: The study of plant taxonomy (the classification of plants) is a sub-discipline of botany, with at least one major plant taxonomist working in a university research department or government agency in every country that has university programs in botany, as well as many private research institutes and companies involved in horticulture and agriculture worldwide. Plants are grouped into divisions on the basis of the type of their flowers; these divisions are called ‘classes’.
2) Plant Abiotic Relations: Plant growth media such as soil or water provide key physical factors for plant growth adaption. These include temperature, humidity and light. Plant abiotic relations is the study of these vital factors in plants. Plant growth can be monitored by many methods such as environment monitoring, plant monitoring, soil testing and soil testing.
3) Plant Anatomy, Physiology & Reproduction: Plant anatomy, physiology and reproduction share a common field when they are considering the same plants in different environments. Plants use many methods to reproduce such as Pollination, sexual fertilization and vegetative propagation to spread their genes. Pollination occurs when pollen is released from the anther of a flower into a wind or insect transport vehicle that carry it to another flower where fertilization takes place. The fertilized egg develops into a seed, which produces a new plant.
- Plant Hybrids – Hybridization is the process in which one or more species of plants are crossed with each other to produce fertile seeds. Thus, hybridization can be used to “hybridize” within species and create fertile hybrids between different species. The most common method of breeding is through seed pollination, which can occur naturally through cross-pollination or artificially through hand pollination.
- Plant Ecology & Evolution – Plant ecology is the scientific study of how organisms interact with each other to form communities or ecosystems.
Importance of Botany
Botany is very helpful in the study of agriculture. As humans are dependent on food, plants play a vital role in the study of agriculture. They help identify, grow and conserve crops that can be used as food. For example, Botany is used to find new antibiotics and medical drugs to cure diseases.
It gives an understanding of majority of plants that are found in almost all parts of the world. One can even use this knowledge to predict weather changes or natural disasters due to plant life being affected so easily by many factors including climate change and deforestation.
Botany also helps in the study of forestry as it provides information on how forests grow and how they can be protected from harm. It not just helps to identify new trees and plants but also helps to find ways to use these trees for other purposes. It helps in the identification of useful or dangerous species of plants and hence is used by the government or individual researchers for harm control.
It can be also used by farmers in an agricultural field. Students who want to pursue a career in botany as a profession will surely benefit from the guidance given by a professional and experienced botanist. They can learn about how plants grow and how they react to different types of situations. In this way students will know more about agricultural fields so that they can help farmers with agricultural problems that may arise from time to time (Campbell, 2005).
Botany is beneficial for developing countries as it helps them with their agriculture and forestry produce (Campbell, 2005). It also helps in the conservation of forests as it informs researchers and farmers on how to help conserve these environments. The study of plant life is not just limited to crops and forest but also extends to wild plants that are home to a number of species. Hence, it is very important to learn more about the different types of plants found in different parts of the world. Students doing projects on botany can use these results for the benefit of the community (Campbell, 2005).
Botany is used in a variety of applications like medicine, forensics, food security etc. With changing times other methods were adopted for identification and prevention of diseases through plants. As air, water and food all have the possibility of being contaminated, it is crucial to know about the types of plants that are good for health or contain substances that can harm the body. It is important to know about these plants since they may be present around us in our offices and homes. So botany is an essential subject which students can learn to become familiar with different types of plants and their uses (Campbell, 2005).
Topics Studied Under Botany As a Subject
- Plant Anatomy
- Plant Development
- Plant Geography
- Plant Ecology
- Plant Genetics
- Plant Morphology
- Soil Science
- Crop And Pasture Science
- Tree Biology
- 10 .Plant Biotechnology
- 11 .Agriculture Science
- 12 .Plant Protection
- 13 .Agricultural Science
- 14 .Agro-Ecology
- Plant Pathology
- Botany Laboratory Work
- Plant Physiology And Biochemistry
- Forest Science And Forestry
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