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Plantae

Brief Summary

    Introduction
    provided by EOL authors
    The 250,000-380,000 currently-known plant species (2,7,8,11) , or members of the kingdom Plantae, are organisms that live on every continent and in nearly every habitat on Earth (10). Plants include some of the primarily water-dwelling organisms called green algae (specifically a group known as the charophyte algae(12)), and the embryophytes or land plants which evolved from green algae (1,12,14). A sometimes-used broader definition of plants also includes the rest of the green algae as well as red algae and glaucophyte algae (9,14). The subset of plants called land plants is divided into two main groups itself: nonvascular plants (those that lack specialized systems allowing them to transport water and nutrients internally; these include mosses, hornworts, and liverworts (5,7)); and vascular plants (those that do have vascular transport systems; these include ferns, lycophytes, gymnosperms, and the highly diverse flowering plants (14)). Plants have special cell walls around each of their cells built in large part out of a carbohydrate called cellulose (7) that makes them especially strong and firm (6). Unlike most other organisms, most plants produce their own food through a process called photosynthesis (9), in which they soak up sunlight, usually with their leaves, and deploy this sunlight within a complicated biochemical system to turn carbon dioxide combined with water into energy-rich sugars (3,15). Through this process, plants have a crucial effect on the global climate and the environment—they remove carbon dioxide, a gas that contributes to global warming, from the air (13), and release oxygen, which is essential for animals, fungi, protists, many bacteria, and even plants themselves in order for them to extract energy from organic molecules (4,15). In addition, plants provide food and shelter for many kinds of organisms, and humans rely on them directly for grains, vegetables, fruits, wood, paper, clothing, and many medicines (8,11). In the future, they may be useful as sources for new medical drugs (8), emerging cleaner, renewable fuels, and other products (6). For all of these reasons and more, plant conservation is critically important (2,8,11).
    Overview
    provided by EOL authors
    You see them every day. You eat them. You wear them. You live in buildings made of them. In fact, plants, or members of the kingdom Plantae, are found everywhere in the world10, and we simply would not be able to live without them(11). The approximately 250,000 to 380,000 currently-known plant species (2,7,8,11) include two main groups: some of the primarily water-dwelling organisms called green algae (specifically a group known as the charophyte algae12), and the embryophytes or land plants which evolved from green algae (1,12,14). A wider definition of plants that is sometimes used also includes the rest of the green algae as well as other types of algae known as red algae and glaucophyte algae (9,14.). The major subset of plants called land plants is divided into two main groups itself: nonvascular plants (those that don’t have special systems allowing them to transport water and nutrients inside their bodies; these plants include mosses, hornworts, and liverworts(5,7); and vascular plants (those that do have such transport systems; these include some more familiar groups including the largest plant group, the flowering plants(14). While all organisms are made up of cells, plants have a special wall around each of their cells built out of a carbohydrate called cellulose (7) that makes them especially strong and firm (6). Unlike most other forms of life, most plants produce their own food through a complicated process called photosynthesis (9), in which they soak up sunlight, usually with their leaves, and use it to turn carbon dioxide combined with water into energy-rich sugars (3,15). Through this process, plants have an extremely important effect on the environment and the climate—they remove carbon dioxide, a gas that contributes to global warming, from the air (13), and at the same time release oxygen, which is essential to the survival of animals, plants, protists, and many bacteria (3,4,15). Plants also provide food and shelter for many kinds of organisms, and we humans rely on them directly for grains, vegetables, fruits, wood, paper, clothing, and many medicines (8,11). In the future, they may be useful as sources for new medicines (8) and other products (6), as well as for emerging fuels that are renewable and more environmentally-friendly (6). For all of these reasons and more, it is vital that we protect plants around the world (2,8,11).
    Perrenial Vines
    provided by EOL authors

    There are numerous perennial vines that can add a permanent landscape feature to your garden. When choosing vines listed as perennial, make sure that they are listed as hardy for your planting zone. These vines come back year after year and when properly handled, continue to offer attractive foliage and flowers.

    Plant: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia
    For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). For an explanation of similar terms, see Viridiplantae and Green algae.

    Plants are mainly multicellular, predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the kingdom Plantae. They form the clade Viridiplantae (Latin name for "green plants") that includes the flowering plants, conifers and other gymnosperms, ferns and their allies, hornworts, liverworts, mosses and the green algae, and excludes the red and brown algae. Historically, plants were treated as one of two kingdoms including all living things that were not animals, and all algae and fungi were treated as plants. However, all current definitions of Plantae exclude the fungi and some algae, as well as the prokaryotes (the archaea and bacteria).

    Green plants obtain most of their energy from sunlight via photosynthesis by primary chloroplasts that are derived from endosymbiosis with cyanobacteria. Their chloroplasts contain chlorophylls a and b, which gives them their green color. Some plants are parasitic or mycotrophic and may lose the ability to produce normal amounts of chlorophyll or to photosynthesize. Plants are characterized by sexual reproduction and alternation of generations, although asexual reproduction is also common.

    There are about 320 thousand species of plants, of which the great majority, some 260–290 thousand, are seed plants (see the ). Green plants provide a substantial proportion of the world's molecular oxygen and are the basis of most of Earth's ecosystems, especially on land. Plants that produce grain, fruit and vegetables form humankind's basic foodstuffs, and have been domesticated for millennia. Plants have many cultural and other uses as ornaments, building materials, writing material and in great variety, they have been the source of medicines and drugs. The scientific study of plants is known as botany, a branch of biology.

Comprehensive Description

Identification Resources

Education Resources

    PlantingScience
    provided by EOL authors

    PlantingScience is a learning and research resource, bringing together students, plant scientists, and teachers from across the nation. Students engage in hands-on plant investigations, working with peers and scientist mentors to build collaborations and to improve their understanding of science.


    For more information see PlantingScience.

    Project BudBurst
    provided by EOL authors

    Project BudBurst, a National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) citizen science program, is a network of people across the United States monitoring plants as the seasons change. Participants collect and share important ecological data based on the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting of plants (plant phenophases). Project BudBurst participants make careful observations of the timing of these phenophases and help contribute to a better understanding of changing climates.

    USA National Phenology Network
    provided by EOL authors

    The USA National Phenology Network serves science and society by promoting broad understanding of plant and animal phenology and its relationship with environmental change. The Network is a consortium of individuals and organizations that collect, share, and use phenology data, models, and related information.