lab5_field trip_2007

lab5_field trip_2007 - Laboratory 5 Campus Field Trip:...

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Campus Field Trip: Botany Laboratory 5
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84 Laboratory 5: Field Trip OBJECTIVES After completing this lab you will be able to: 1. Appreciate the botanical diversity present on the UH campus, 2. Use a dichotomous key assist in identifying different tree species. 3. Use the tour to reinforce what you have learned about plants in lab. LAB PREPARATION In preparation for this laboratory you should do the following: 1. Read and study this laboratory. 2. Wear appropriate clothing for being outdoors. 3. Be prepared to bring your dichotomous key with you on your tour. INTRODUCTION A. Plant Diversity and Identification In the last 400 million years, plants have evolved a variety of adaptations that allow exploitation of a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. As a result, there is much variation in plant form and function. With about 250,000 known species of plants, the task of identifying a particular species at first appears to be a difficult one. The key to identifying a species is remembering that although every species is unique in some way, it shares many traits with many other organisms. It may seem counterintuitive, but understanding similarities between organisms (shared traits or characters) is very important when trying to identify unique species. The process of identification begins with the realization that a species belongs to a larger group (e.g., Family or Order) that is easily recognized based on a suite of shared characters. Identification is merely a process of elimination. Once the larger group in which your species belongs is identified, the thousands of species that do not belong to that group can be eliminated from consideration. As you pursue the correct identification, through recognition of shared traits, the species is systematically included in smaller and smaller groups. Many possible wrong identifications are excluded along the way, until you arrive at the smallest group possible, the one that contains only members of the species you wish to identify. Remember, all the members of your newly identified species are unique as individuals, but what makes them members of the same species are the traits they share with one another. For example, plants can be categorized into large groups based on simple characters that all members within each group share with one
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Laboratory 5: Field Trip 85 another. To begin, plants can be simply grouped as either aquatic or terrestrial. There is only one group of exclusively aquatic plants, the algae. Algae are aquatic plants that are found in both fresh and salt water. Terrestrial plants, however, can be separated into four major groups based on anatomy, reproduction, and life cycle. The four groups are mosses, ferns, conifers, and flowering plants. Mosses (
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This lab report was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course BIO 172L taught by Professor Gerald during the Spring '08 term at Hawaii.

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lab5_field trip_2007 - Laboratory 5 Campus Field Trip:...

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