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Unformatted text preview: Edward
Edward O. Wilson
Wilson Biophilia (1984)
The object of the reflection can be
summarized by a single word, biophilia,
which I will be so bold as to define as
the innate tendency to focus on life
and lifelike processes. Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above
other living creatures, but because knowing them well
elevates the very concept of life.
E.O. Wilson Some
Some of us have so well-insulated
wellourselves from the inconvenient and
uncomfortable features of the natural
world, we fail to see that in the
process we have isolated ourselves from
the convenient, comfortable, and
beautiful features of that same natural
world of which we are one very small,
but powerful, and now destructive part.
Before progress—the idea and the
people who enacted the idea—covered
the globe, our ancestors lived in
cultures that were emergent from the
places where we lived.
Daniel Wildcat The
The human costs of alienation from nature [include]: diminished
use of the senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of
physical and emotional illnesses. (Richard Louv, journalist)
An indoor, sedentary child is linked to mental health problems.
James Sallis, researcher
I like to play indoors better, 'cause that's
where all the electrical outlets are.
San Diego 4th grader
Sometimes I go [to the woods] when I'm
mad—and then, just with the peacefulness,
I'm better. I can come back home happy,
and my mom doesn't even know why.
Missouri 5th grader Subjects
Subjects experienced significant decreases in blood pressure simply by
watching fish in an aquarium.
Frumkin points to a ten-year study of gallbladder surgery patients...
the patients with the view of the trees went home sooner.
Although countless children who suffer from mental illness and
attention disorders do benefit from medication, the use of nature as
an alternative, additional, or preventative therapy is being overlooked.
Richard Louv, journalist
A policeman puppet is usually a policeman; a kid rarely makes it
something else. But with landscape... you're giving the child ways of
expressing what's within.
Sebastiano Santostefano, psychologist
• Plant and care for trees in your yard and community
Encourage [children] to play in rooms with a view of nature
Encourage children to play outdoors in green spaces
Advocate recess in green schoolyards
University of Illinois study results Hooray for bioremediation: plants sequester airborne toxins!
i pothos / money plant / devil's ivy
money plant devil's ivy
(Southeast Asia) rubber fig
(Southeast Asia) These house plants
are easy to find, and easy
to keep alive. heartleaf philodendron
(Latin America) Sometimes
Sometimes a tree tells you
more than can be read in books. Carl Jung Diversity of Fungi
Fungi are heterotrophs
that feed by absorption 5 phyla contain
100,000 known species
(may be 1.5 million) • all fungi are heterotrophic
• unlike animals, which ingest food...
animals which ingest
fungi absorb food, with exoenzymes
• fungi are sessile (but they grow really fast!)
• some unicellular, but most are multicellular
• decomposers, parasites, predators
• mutualistic symbionts http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/3/l_013_01.html Anatomy
Anatomy & Ecology of a Fungus
mycorrhizae – mutualistic association between fungal
hyphae & (nearly all!) plant roots
more surface area for exchange of water, nutrients
w/out with plant gets minerals...
gives organic nutrients fruiting body – reproductive
structure (e.g., mushroom);
produces diploid spores
produces diploid spores hyphae – tubular cell walls
cell walls single plant root hair,
plant root hair
covered with hyphae mycelium – large underground mat of hyphae
(including fungal portion of mycorrizae) Fungi
Fungi as decomposers
break down complex carbohydrates (even
cellulose) into sugars
= crucial role in nutrient cycling
edible “button” mushrooms
on manure bread molds belong
different phyla shelf (bracket) fungus
= mutualism between fungus (usually
an ascomycete) & photosynthetic
algae or cyanobacteria; fungus gets
food in exchange for microhabitat
Canary in a coal mine:
lichens are great
bioindicators for air quality.
air quality. Fungi
Fungi as pathogens mycosis – fungal infection rice blast
o wheat rust
(basidomycete) ~30% of fungi are parasites (mostly on plant hosts)
of fungi are parasites (mostly on plant hosts) chestnut blight
e maple tar spot
(ascomycete) Dutch elm disease
at 1500 acres, the honey
mushroom is in the running
for largest living organism! also known as shoestring rot
also known as "shoestring rot"
penetrates sapwood; kill trees
Armillaria mellea Actual (March 2010) e-mail message from a student:
Dr. Devito, in class you mentioned corn smut, we used
Devito, in class you mentioned corn smut, we used
to grow and sell sweet corn. For years we threw away
ears that were afflicted with smut, then we found out the
smut was worth more than the corn!
smut was worth more than the corn! corn smut
(basidomycete) Ustilago maydis, also known as
Huitlacoche (Mexican truffle) is a
delicacy! It adds flavor to soups,
quesadillas and tamales. Tinea pedis
more mycoses (fungal infections in animals):
• localized, external: ringworm, athlete’s foot, jock itch
• systemic: yeast infections, Coccidioidomycosis
(“valley fever” or ”desert fever”), fungal pneumonia
(secondary infection in AIDS patients)
biological control agent Aspergillus (an ascomycete) poultry lung infection Tinea corpora (ascomycte)
Tinea corpora (ascomycte)
Fungi as pathogens Fungi
Fungi as pathogens http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/science/05frog.html?_r=2 Chytrid fungus contributes to
fungus contributes to
the complex causes of
worldwide amphibian declines http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2010-09-08/grace-pundyk-honey-trail http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128574280
8 Virus-Fungus Duo Latest Culprit in Honeybee Deaths
Virus-Fungus Duo Latest Culprit in Honeybee Deaths
a http://news.discovery.com/animals/virus-fungus-duo-latest-culprit-in-honeybee-deaths.html Bats
Bats Plagued By Mysterious “White Nose” Disease
http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200804185 Scientists Say Bat Disease Likely To Spread
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112035629 zoonotic – a widespread
disease in nonhuman animals Practical uses of fungi
$1000/lb) Tuber (ascomycete)
(ascomycete) (fruiting bodies of basidiomycetes)
Can you spot an ascomycete? Practical
Practical uses of fungi
bakers & brewer ’s yeast doubles as a
brewer yeast doubles as
model organism for eukaryote genetics
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/04/4/l_044_02.html Saccharomyces (ascomycete)
(ascomycete) http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200811283 Practical
Practical uses of fungi
) This bread mold is another
model organism. Aspergillus is used to brew
(ascomycete) “Blue” cheeses are
inoculated with Penicillium.
Practical uses of fungi
antimicrobial, for example Penicillium (an ascomycete) prevents E. coli from
completing cytokinesis most
most toxic mushrooms belong to the genus Amanita
poisonous “death cap”
often fatal (liver failure)
- careless amateurs
- curious children & dogs
- Asian immigrants(!)
Volvariella volvacea Amanita phalloides ...also found in
hallucinogenic compounds in Amanita
psychotropic substances: ibotenic acid & muscimol side effects: muscarine
“fly agaric” “panther cap” http://www.erowid.org Amanita muscaria Amanita pantherina hallucinogenic compounds in Psilocybin
psychotropic substances: psilocybin psylocin 180+ species of Psilocybin
are used as “magic” mushrooms Chapter 18-19
Welcome to your kingdom! Innovative concepts in exposing city kids to nature Animals have evolved a spectacular range
of shapes, sizes & lifestyles
• ingestive heterotrophs
• all are multicellular
• many are motile (but some are sessile)
• most reproduce sexually
reproduce sexually Sponges
Sponges are sedentary suspension feeders
without symmetry or true tissues… …but they have specialized cells
they have specialized cells
that resemble the single celled
choanoflagellate “protists.” Radially
Radially symmetrical cnidarians sting their prey
with spring-loaded, toxic stinging cells
spring- typical jelly life stages include:
sessile polyp & floating medusa
medusa cnyidocytes are triggered by tactile contact “Worm”
“Worm” body plans are popular in many phyla;
The tapeworm is a parasitic flatworm.
flatworm fleas are the vector for transmission of tapeworms to cats & dogs flea life cycle The
The Guinea worm is a parasitic roundworm.
roundworm http://video.nytimes.com/video/2006/03/24/science/1194817106827/diseases-on-the-brink-guinea-worm.html FreeFree-living roundworms are abundant in soil ecosystems
roundworms Millions of soil roundworms may live in one square meter of the forest floor!
C. elegans preys on bacteria I’m a model organism!
Mine was the first animal genome
completely sequenced. Pl
Plus, scientists have
followed the developmental fate of
every one of my cells! ...
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This note was uploaded on 12/12/2011 for the course BIO 2 taught by Professor Poenie during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.
- Fall '08