Plant Systematics and Evolution


Understanding the diversity of plants and their evolutionary relationships is fundamental to understanding the complex web of life on Earth. Nearly all other organisms, including humans, rely on plants directly or indirectly for their food and oxygen. Consequently, plants are essential to our existence. By studying plants in detail, we learn more about our own species and the world we inhabit. This course is a survey of plant diversity; in it, you will gain a thorough understanding of the diverse morphology of plants and will acquire an understanding of phylogenetic relationships among them. You will be able to describe morphological structures of plants using botanical terminology and learn how to identify prominent plant families using diagnostic morphological characters and plant keys. Seminars and associated labs will be supplemented with independent field collections. Prerequisite: Principles of Botany, Introductory Biology, or an equivalent course or experience.

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