BIOL 127 - Botany Basics

From marshlands to grasslands to forests, plants make up the diverse communities that are an integral part of a complex system. This course will focus on the structure of various plants, how plants grow, the effects of environmental factors on plant growth, plant classification and identification, the use and significance of native plants, plant ecology, inventory methods, and the cultural significance to indigenous people to establish a holistic approach to the discipline of botany.




Hours: 45 (Lecture Hours: 39; Laboratory Hours: 3; Field Experience Hours: 3)


Total Weeks:  15




Non-Course Prerequisites: 





Course Content:
Overview & Taxonomic Principles
- Importance of Botany: Scope, Implications & Evolution of Discipline
- Ethnobotany perspective
- Incorporating botany in all disciplines of practice
- Scientific taxonomy: examine dichotomous keys and proper format of scientific names
- Other forms of taxonomy (invasive plants, forestry, commercial crops)
- Indigenous taxonomy and plant groupings
- Role of language in naming and classification of plants
Plant Morphological Structures
- Floral types and structures
- Indigenous significance and use of florals
- Leaf types, shapes, surfaces
- Leaf shape and control of invasive species using herbicides
- Fruit types
- Indigenous harvesting and use of fruits and seeds
- Internal structures
- Floral parts and influence on plant use by people and animals
- Indigenous significance and use of leaves
- Grazing pressure, invasive species, weather extremes
Plant Identification & Field Application
- Plant families (Scientific and Indigenous Perspective)
- Tree identification, native and cultivar
- Shrub identification, native and cultivar
- Wildflower and grass identification, native and agronomic
- Emerging plant identification
- Identification of invasive species
Root Function
- Plant cell structure
- Root morphology
- Root functions, systems, and growth
- Specialized roots of invasive species
- Indigenous collection and use of roots
Basic Plant Physiological and Growth Processes
- Photosynthesis and respiration
- Transport of water and material in plants
- Indigenous collection and wildlife use during transport phases
- Plant hormone systems
- Physiology of growth
- Significance of maintaining a balance and wellness of plants for indigenous people
Environmental and Site Factors on Plant Growth
- Effects extreme temperatures, moisture levels and other limiting factors on plant growth
- Measures of environmental and site factors
- Evolving natural sites and highly disturbed sites
- Impacts of industrial contaminants on plant growth (salts, minerals, hydrocarbons, herbicides)
- Plant adaptations to site conditions and impacts on wildlife and indigenous people
Site Suitability Factors & Considerations for Plant Growth
- Key factors influencing the type of plant to grow in an area
- Managing, documenting & evaluating Insolation
- Soil type and the influence on plant establishment
- Utilizing native plants in reclamation
Basic Concepts of Plant Ecology
- Concept of succession
- Ecological equivalence and amplitude
- The edatopic grid
- Indigenous knowledge for reclamation and the natural system perspective
Use basic techniques to measure and calculate plant characteristics
- Compass, dbh tape, and clinometer
- Nested quadrats and nearest neighbour techniques
- Calculate tree density and height
- Holistic approach to documenting baseline assessments, inventory, reclamation, and planning



Learning Outcomes:
- Demonstrate approach to botany with scientific fundamentals and an indigenous perspective
- Identify plant morphological structures
- Describe plant physiology and growth processes
- Describe role of environmental & site conditions on plant growth (native & cultivars)
- Demonstrate use of dichotomous keys & ability to identify some local species
- Use basic techniques to measure and calculate plant characteristics
- Identify native plants and their indigenous uses
- Link plant communities to habitat use
- Describe how indigenous plant knowledge complements reclamation
- Identify invasive, agronomic plants (emergent/mature stages)
- Apply the distribution and density coding, field guide to forested ecosites and other applicable field assessment tools


Grading System:  Letters


Passing Grade:  D (50%)


Percentage of Individual Work:  100


Text Books:
Textbooks are subject to change.  Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.