Botany, plant science(s), or plant biology (from Ancient Greek βοτάνη botane, "pasture, grass, or fodder" and that from βόσκειν boskein, "to feed or to graze"), is a discipline of biology and the science of plant life. Traditionally, the science of botany also included the study of fungi, algae, and viruses, but this has become less common. A person engaged in the study of botany is called a botanist.
Botany covers a wide range of scientific disciplines including the study of plant structure, growth, reproduction, metabolism, development, diseases, chemical properties, evolutionary relationships and plant taxonomy. Botany began with early human efforts to identify edible, medicinal and poisonous plants, making it one of the oldest branches of science. Nowadays, botanists study about 400,000 species of living organisms.
The beginnings of modern-style classification systems can be traced to the 1500s–1600s when several attempts were made to scientifically classify plants. In the 19th and 20th centuries, major new techniques were developed for studying plants, including microscopy, analysis of chromosome number, plant chemistry and live cell imaging. In the last two decades of the 20th century, plant genetic analysis exploited the new disciplines of genomics and proteomics and DNA sequences were used to classify plants more accurately.
Botanical research focuses on plant population biology, evolution, molecular genetics, physiology, structure, and systematics. Sub-disciplines of botany include agronomy, forestry, horticulture, and paleobotany. Key scientists in the history of botany include Theophrastus, Ibn al-Baitar, Carl Linnaeus, Gregor Mendel, and Norman Borlaug.
The history of botany includes many ancient writings and classifications of plants found in several early cultures. Examples of early botanical works have been found in ancient sacred texts from India, ancient Avestan writings, and ancient Chinese works.
Modern botany traces its roots back more than twenty three centuries, to the Father of Botany, Theophrastus (c. 371–287 BC), a student of Aristotle. He invented and described many of the principles of modern botany. His two major works, Enquiry into Plants and On the Causes of Plants constitute the most important contribution to botanical science during antiquity and the Middle Ages, and held that position for some seventeen centuries after they were written. Also from Greece, Pedanius Dioscorides, in the middle of the first century, wrote De Materia Medica, a five-volume encyclopedia about herbal medicine that was widely read for more than 1,500 years. Works from the medieval Muslim world included Ibn Wahshiyya's Nabatean Agriculture, Abū Ḥanīfa Dīnawarī's (828–896) the Book of Plants, and Ibn Bassal's The Classification of Soils. In the early 13th century, Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati, and Ibn al-Baitar (d. 1248) also wrote on botany.
Early modern botany
German physician Leonhart Fuchs (1501–1566) was one of "the three German fathers of botany", along with Otto Brunfels (1489–1534) and Hieronymus Bock (1498–1554) (also called Hieronymus Tragus). Fuchs and Brunfels broke away from the tradition of copying earlier works to make original observations of their own. Bock created his own system of plant classification.
Valerius Cordus (1515–1544) authored a botanically and pharmacologically important herbal Historia Plantarum in 1544 and a pharmacopoeia of lasting importance, the Dispensatorium in 1546. Conrad von Gesner (1516–1565) and Nicholas Culpeper (1616–1654) also published herbals covering the medicinal uses of plants. Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605) was considered the "father of natural history", which included the study of plants. In 1665, using an early microscope, Robert Hooke discovered cells, a term he coined, in cork, and a short time later in living plant tissue.
During the 18th century, systems of classification were developed that are comparable to diagnostic keys, where taxa are artificially grouped in pairs. The sequence of the taxa in keys is often unrelated to their natural or phyletic groupings. By the 18th century an increasing number of new plants had arrived in Europe from newly discovered countries and the European colonies worldwide and a larger number of plants became available for study. Botanical guides from this time were sparsely illustrated. In 1754 Carl von Linné (Carl Linnaeus) divided the plant Kingdom into 25 classes in a taxonomy with a standardized binomial or two-part naming scheme where the first name represented the genus and the second the species. For the purposes of identification, Linnaeus's Systema Sexuale classified plants into 24 groups according to the number of their male sexual organs. The 24th group, Cryptogamia, included all plants with concealed reproductive parts, mosses, liverworts and ferns, algae and fungi.
The increased knowledge of plant anatomy, morphology and life cycles,[when?] led to the realization that there were more natural affinities between plants than the sexual system of Linnaeus indicated. Adanson (1763), de Jussieu (1789), and Candolle (1819) all proposed various alternative natural systems that were widely followed. The ideas of natural selection as a mechanism for evolution required modifications to the Candollean system, which started the studies on evolutionary relationships and phylogenetic classifications of plants.
Botany was greatly stimulated by the appearance of the first "modern" text book, Matthias Schleiden's Grundzuge der Wissenschaftlichen, published in English in 1849 as Principles of Scientific Botany. Carl Willdenow examined the connection between seed dispersal and distribution, the nature of plant associations, and the impact of geological history. The cell nucleus was discovered by Robert Brown in 1831.
A considerable amount of new knowledge comes from studying the molecular genetics of model plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana. This weedy species in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) has a genome about 135 million base pairs long—one of the smallest among flowering plants. It was the first plant to have its genome sequenced, in 2000. The sequencing of the relatively small rice (Oryza sativa) genome by a large international research community has made rice an important model for cereals, grasses, and monocots. Another grass species, Brachypodium distachyon is also an experimental model for understanding genetic, cellular and molecular biology. The genomes of some other commercially important staple foods like wheat, maize, barley, rye, pearl millet and soybean are also being sequenced. Some of these are challenging to sequence because they have more than two haploid (n) sets of chromosomes, a condition known as polyploidy, common in the plant kingdom. A green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, is a model organism that has proven important in advancing knowledge of cell biology.
In 1998 the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group published a phylogeny of flowering plants based on an analysis of DNA sequences from most families of flowering plants. As a result of this work, many of the questions such as which families represent the earliest branches of angiosperms have now been answered. Investigating how plant species are related to each other allows botanists to better understand the process of evolution in plants. Despite the study of model plants and increasing use of DNA evidence, there is ongoing work and discussion among taxonomists about how best to classify plants into various taxa.
Scope and importance
Botanists study molecular, genetic, structural and biochemical aspects of plant life at the level of organelles, cells, tissues, organs, individuals, plant populations, and communities of plants. At each of these levels, a botanist may be concerned with the classification (taxonomy), structure (anatomy and morphology), or function (physiology) of plant life.
Historically, all living things were classified as either animals or plants, and botany covered the study of all organisms not considered to be animals. As of June 2013[update] there are competing definitions of "plant". The strictest definition includes only the "land plants" or embryophytes, which include seed plants (gymnosperms, the most well known being the pine trees, and flowering plants), ferns, clubmosses, liverworts, hornworts and mosses. All embryophytes are multicellular eukaryotic organisms descended from an ancestor that obtained its energy from sunlight by photosynthesis, and have life cycles with alternating haploid and diploid phases. In embryophytes, the sexual haploid phase, or gametophyte, nurtures the developing embryo sporophyte within its tissues for at least part of its life, even in the seed plants, where the gametophyte itself is nurtured by another sporophyte. Other groups of organisms that were previously studied in the field of botany include bacteria (now studied in bacteriology), fungi (mycology)—including lichen-forming fungi (lichenology), non-chlorophyte algae (phycology), and viruses (virology). However, attention is still given to these groups by botanists, and fungi (including lichens) and photosynthetic protists are usually covered in introductory botany courses.
The study of plants is vital because they underpin almost all animal life on Earth by generating a large proportion of the oxygen and food that allow humans and other organisms with aerobic respiration to exist. Plants (along with the algae and cyanobacteria) are one of the major groups of organisms that carry out photosynthesis, a process that absorbs carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is a small but important variable that influences global climate. As a by-product of photosynthesis, they release oxygen into the atmosphere, a gas that is required by nearly all living things to carry out cellular respiration. Additionally, they are influential in the global carbon and water cycles and plant roots bind and stabilize soils, preventing soil erosion. Plants are crucial to the future of human society as they provide food, oxygen, medicine, and products for people, as well as creating and preserving soil. Paleobotanists study ancient plants in the fossil record to provide information about the evolutionary history of plants. Cyanobacteria, the first oxygen-releasing photosynthetic organisms on Earth, are thought to have given rise to the ancestor of plants by entering into an endosymbiotic relationship with an early eukaryote, ultimately becoming the chloroplasts in plant cells. The new photosynthetic plants (along with their algal relatives) accelerated the rise in atmospheric oxygen started by the cyanobacteria, changing the ancient oxygen-free, reducing, atmosphere to one in which free oxygen has been abundant for more than 2 billion years.
Virtually all staple foods come either directly from plants, or indirectly from animals that eat them. Plants are the fundamental base of nearly all food chains because they use the energy from the sun and nutrients from the soil and atmosphere, converting them into a form that can be used by animals. This is what ecologists call the first trophic level. Botanists study how plants produce food we can eat and how to increase yields and therefore their work is important in mankind's ability to feed the world and provide food security for future generations, for example, through plant breeding. Botanists also study weeds, plants which are considered to be a nuisance in a particular location. Weeds are a considerable problem in agriculture, and botany provides some of the basic science used to understand how to minimize 'weed' impact in agriculture and native ecosystems. Ethnobotany is the study of the relationships between plants and people. When this kind of study is turned to the investigation of plant-people relationships in past times, it is referred to as archaeobotany or paleoethnobotany.
Fundamental life processes
Botanical research has long had relevance to the understanding of fundamental biological processes other than just botany. Fundamental life processes such as cell division and protein synthesis can be studied using plants without the moral issues that come with conducting studies upon animals or humans. Gregor Mendel discovered the genetic laws of inheritance in this fashion by studying Pisum sativum (pea) inherited traits such as shape. What Mendel learned from studying plants has had far reaching benefits outside of botany. Similarly, 'jumping genes' were discovered by Barbara McClintock while she was studying maize.
Medicine and materials
Many medicinal and recreational drugs, such as tetrahydrocannabinol, caffeine, morphine and nicotine come directly from the plants. Others are simple derivatives of botanical natural products. For example, the pain killer aspirin is the acetyl ester of salicylic acid which was originally isolated from the bark of willow trees and a wide range of opiate analgesics such as heroin are obtained by chemical modification of morphine obtained from the opium poppy. Popular stimulants like coffee, chocolate, tobacco, and tea also come from plants. Most alcoholic beverages come from fermenting carbohydrate-rich plant products such as barley (beer), rice (sake) and grapes (wine).
Hemp, cotton, wood and particle boards, paper, linen, vegetable oils, some types of rope, and natural rubber are examples of materials made from plants. Charcoal, a pure form of carbon made by pyrolysis of wood, has a long history as a metal-smelting fuel and is one of the three ingredients of gunpowder. Cellulose, the world's most abundant organic polymer, is a valuable resource that can be converted into energy, fuels, materials and chemical feedstock. Rayon and cellophane wallpaper paste, biobutanol and gun cotton are examples of products made from cellulose. Sugarcane, rapeseed, soy are some of the plants with a highly fermentable sugar or oil content which have recently been put to use as sources of biofuels, which are important alternatives to fossil fuels (see biodiesel).
Plant responses to environmental changes improve our understanding of how these changes affect the planet. For example, plant phenology can be a useful proxy for temperature in historical climatology, and for indicating the biological impact of climate change and global warming. Palynology, the analysis of fossil pollen deposits in sediments from thousands or millions of years ago allows the reconstruction of past climates. One of the effects has been ozone depletion causing elevated levels of ultraviolet radiation-B (UV-B) on plants, resulting in lower growth rates. Moreover, plant systematics and taxonomy are essential to understanding habitat destruction and species extinction.
Plant ecology describes the way plants relate to and function in the environments in which they live. The environment in which a plant completes its life cycle is its habitat. Plants are dependent upon certain edaphic (soil) and climatic factors in their environment and are in competition with other organisms in their ecosystem. Multiple members of the same species in a given area and time constitute a population. Different plant populations and communities in proximity constitute vegetation. Plant ecologists study the composition of local and regional flora, the genetic diversity of plant populations, their fitness and adaptation to their environment, their competition with other species, as well as the plant's structure, metabolism, and the climate and soil conditions in which they live. Both negative and beneficial interactions with other organisms are parts of a plant's ecology. Herbivores eat plants, but plants can also defend themselves and some species are parasitic or even carnivorous. Some other organisms form mutually beneficial relationships with plants. For example mycorrhizal fungi provide plants with nutrients, ants are recruited by ant plants to provide protection, honey bees and other pollinators pollinate flowers, and dispersal vectors distribute spores and seeds. A biome is a large part of the earth that has similar abiotic and biotic factors, climate, and geography, creating a typical ecosystem over that area that is characterized by its dominant plants. Examples of biomes include tundra and tropical rainforest.
DNA provides the information for a plant's structure and metabolism. Genetics is the science of inheritance and the gene is its chemical unit. The same basic laws of genetics apply to both plants and animals. In sexual reproduction, offspring are often more fit than either parent since the stronger genes tend to be passed on to the next generation. Mutations and natural selection result in a species acquiring new traits and eventually evolving into one or more new species. Population genetics is the study of allele frequency distribution and change under the influence of the four main evolutionary processes: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation and gene flow. Changes can also be caused by natural events such as a large meteor hitting Earth and selective breeding (artificial selection) of plants by humans for specific traits.
Since the mid-20th century, there has been considerable debate over how the earliest forms of life evolved and how to classify them, especially at the kingdom and domain levels. For example, the three-domain system now separates Archaea and Bacteria that were previously grouped into the single kingdom Monera (bacteria). Archaea were separated because it was shown that the group has a different evolutionary history. However, Thomas Cavalier-Smith rejects the three-domain system and places the Archaea as a subkingdom of Bacteria. Cyanobacteria were once believed to be related to algae and hence included in Plantae. They are now recognized as autotrophic bacteria, but are still of interest to both botanists and bacteriologists because of their biochemical, structural and genetic similarities to chloroplasts, which are interpreted as being derived from an endosymbiotic relationship between a eukaryotic cell and a cyanobacterial ancestor. Similarly, the Fungi (or Myceteae) were once considered plants but are now classified as a separate kingdom of eukaryotic organisms with significant differences from plants in cell wall chemistry, cell structure and life cycles.
The various divisions of algae are also taxonomically problematic as some are more clearly linked to plants than others. Their many differences in features such as biochemistry, pigmentation, and nutrient reserves show that they diverged very early in evolutionary time. The algal division Charophyta, sister to the green algal Division Chlorophyta is considered to contain the ancestor of true plants. The Charophyte class Charophyceae and the land plant sub-kingdom Embryophyta together form the monophyletic group or clade Streptophytina.
Nonvascular land plants are embryophytes that lack the vascular tissues xylem and phloem. They include mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. After the evolution of xylem and phloem during the Silurian and Devonian periods, vascular plants developed along two lines: vascular cryptogams which reproduce by spores and evolved first, and spermatophytes, which reproduce by seed.
Vascular plants with true xylem and phloem that reproduced by spores germinating into free-living gametophytes evolved during the Silurian period and diversified into several lineages during the late Silurian and early Devonian. By the end of the Devonian period, several groups, including the lycopods, sphenophylls and progymnosperms, had independently evolved "megaspory" – their spores were of two distinct sizes, larger megaspores and smaller microspores. Their reduced gametophytes developed from megaspores retained within the spore-producing organs (megasporangia) of the sporophyte, a condition known as endospory. A "true" seed consists of a megasporangium surrounded by one or two sheathing layers (integuments). The young sporophyte develops within the seed, which splits to release it. The earliest known true seeds date from the Middle Devonian. Following the evolution of the seed habit, plants with seeds diversified, giving rise to a number of extinct groups, including seed ferns, as well as the modern gymnosperms and angiosperms. Gymnosperms produce seeds not fully enclosed in an ovary; modern representatives include conifers, cycads, Ginkgo, and Gnetales. Angiosperms produce seeds encased in a structure such as a carpel or an ovary. The ancestors of angiosperms are a sister clade to the gymnosperms.
Plant physiology encompasses all the internal chemical and physical activities of plants associated with life. Sunlight, either through photosynthesis or cellular respiration, is the basis of all life. Photoautotrophs, including all green plants, cyanobacteria and other bacteria gather energy directly from sunlight by photosynthesis. Heterotrophs take in organic molecules produced by photoautotrophs and respire them. This includes all animals, all fungi, all completely parasitic plants, and non-photosynthetic bacteria. Respiration is the oxidation of carbon compounds by breaking them down into simpler structures to release the energy they contain, essentially the opposite of photosynthesis.
Molecules are moved within plants by transport processes that operate at a variety of scales. Subcellular transport of ions, electrons and molecules such as enzymes occurs across cell membranes. Minerals and water are transported from roots to other parts of the plant in the transpiration stream. Diffusion, osmosis, and active transport and mass flow are all different ways transport can occur. Examples of elements that plants need to transport are nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and sulphur from the soil,transported in the xylem and sucrose produced by photosynthesis, which is transported in the phloem. Chemicals obtained from the air, soil, and water in combination with sunlight form the basis of plant metabolism. Most of these elements come from minerals in a process called mineral nutrition. Few plants live in stable unchanging environments. Most plants must adapt to a variety of environmental factors, including changes in temperature, light and moisture. The better a plant can cope with these changing conditions, the more likely it is to be able to survive over both the short and long term as well as establish itself over a wider geographic range.
Understanding the structure and function of cells is fundamental to all of the biological sciences. All organisms except viruses have cells, the cell types are unique. Since plants are eukaryotes, their DNA is stored in nuclei. Cell biology studies their structural and physiological properties. This includes responses to stimuli, reproduction, and development at the microscopic scale and molecular level and their differentiation into tissues. With rare exceptions, plant cells also have a central vacuole, cytoplasm, cytosol, dictyosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, microbodies, microfilaments, microtubules, mitochondria, plasma membrane, plastids, protoplasm, ribosomes, storage products, and a cell wall. Uniquely, Streptophyte cells and those of the green algal order Trentepohliales divide by construction of a phragmoplast as a template for building a cell plate late in cell division.
A plant's body has two divisions—the root system and the shoot system, which contains leaves and stems. The root system and the shoot system cannot survive without each other—the usually nonphotosynthetic root system depends on the shoot system for food, and the usually photosynthetic shoot system depends on water and minerals from the root system. Roots also anchor a plant to the ground and often hold a plant's stored food, as is the case with beets and carrots. Roots which spread out close to the surface, such as those of willows, can produce shoots and ultimately new plants.
Stems provide support to the leaves, and occasionally store food (like tubers) or reproduce (like stolons do). Leaves gather sunlight and carry out photosynthesis. Large, flat, flexible, green leaves are called foliage leaves. Gymnosperms are seed-producing plants which have open seeds, such as conifers, cycads, Ginkgo, and gnetophyta. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants that produce flowers, having enclosed seeds.  Woody plants, such as azaleas and oaks, undergo a secondary growth phase resulting in two additional types of tissues: wood (secondary xylem) and bark (secondary phloem and cork). All gymnosperms and many angiosperms are woody plants. Some plants reproduce sexually, some asexually, and some via both means.
Scientific classification in botany is a method by which botanists group and categorize organisms by biological type, such as genus or species. Biological classification is a form of scientific taxonomy. Modern taxonomy is rooted in the work of Carolus Linnaeus, who grouped species according to shared physical characteristics. These groupings have since been revised to improve consistency with the Darwinian principle of common descent. While scientists do not always agree on how to classify organisms, molecular phylogenetics, which uses DNA sequences as data, has driven many recent revisions along more efficient, evolutionary lines and is likely to continue to do so. Botanical classification belongs to the science of plant systematics. The dominant classification system is called the Linnaean taxonomy. It includes ranks and binomial nomenclature. The classification, taxonomy, and nomenclature of botanical organisms is administered by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN).
The five-kingdom system has largely been superseded by modern alternative classification systems. Textbooks generally begin with the three-domain system: Archaea (originally Archaebacteria); Bacteria (originally Eubacteria); Eukaryota (including protists, fungi, plants, and animals). These domains reflect whether the cells have nuclei or not, as well as differences in the chemical composition of the cell exteriors and ribosomes.
Further, each kingdom is broken down recursively until each species is separately classified. The order is: Domain; Kingdom; Phylum; Class; Order; Family; Genus; Species. The scientific name of an organism is generated from its genus and species, resulting in a single world-wide name for each organism. For example, the Tiger Lily is listed as Lilium columbianum. Lilium is the genus, and columbianum the specific epithet. When writing the scientific name of an organism, it is proper to capitalize the first letter in the genus and put all of the specific epithet in lowercase. Additionally, the entire term is ordinarily italicized or underlined. Phylogenetics is the study of similarities among different species.
Subdisciplines of botany
The following botanists made major contributions to the ways in which botany has been studied.
- Theophrastus (c. 371 – c. 287 BC), "The Father of Botany", established botanical science through his lecture notes, Enquiry into Plants.
- Pedanius Dioscorides (c. 40–90 AD), Greek physician, pharmacologist, toxicologist and botanist, author of De Materia Medica (Regarding Medical Matters).
- Abū Ḥanīfa Dīnawarī (828–896), Persian, Kurdish or Arab botanist, historian, geographer, astronomer, mathematician, and founder of Arabic botany.
- Su Song (1020–1101), Chinese polymath, botanist, compiled the Bencao Tujing ('Illustrated Pharmacopoeia'), a treatise on pharmaceutical botany, zoology, and mineralogy.
- Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati (c. 1200), Andalusian-Arab botanist and agricultural scientist, and a pioneer in experimental botany.
- Ibn al-Baitar (1197–1248), Andalusian-Arab scientist, botanist, pharmacist, physician, and author of one of the largest botanical encyclopedias.
- Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), Italian polymath; a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer.
- John Ray (1627–1705), English naturalist, botanist, and zoologist; father of natural history.
- Augustus Quirinus Rivinus (1652–1723), German physician and botanist; introduced the concept of classifying plants based on the structure of their flower, which influenced de Tournefort and Linnaeus.
- Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656–1708), French botanist; first to clearly define the concept of genus for plants.
- Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of Binomial nomenclature; known as the father of modern taxonomy and also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology.
- Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, (1744–1829), French naturalist, botanist, biologist, academic, and an early proponent of the idea that evolution occurred and proceeded in accordance with natural laws.
- Aimé Bonpland (1773–1858), French explorer and botanist, who accompanied Alexander von Humboldt during five years of travel in Latin America.
- Augustin Pyramus de Candolle (1778–1841), Swiss botanist, originated the idea of "Nature's war", which influenced Charles Darwin.
- David Douglas (1799–1834), Scottish botanical explorer of North America and China, who imported many ornamental plants into Europe.
- Richard Spruce (1817–1893), English botanist and explorer who carried out a detailed study of the Amazon flora.
- Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817–1911), English botanist and explorer; second winner of Darwin Medal.
- Gregor Johann Mendel (1822–1884), Austrian Augustinian priest and scientist, and is often called the father of genetics for his study of the inheritance of traits in pea plants.
- Antonio Raimondi (1824–1890), Italian-born Peruvian botanist, who conducted and published an extensive research on the diverse natural history of Peru.
- Agustín Stahl (1842–1917), Puerto Rican doctor, who conducted investigations and experiments in the fields of botany, ethnology, and zoology in the Caribbean region.
- Luther Burbank (1849–1926), American botanist, horticulturist, and a pioneer in agricultural science.
- George Ledyard Stebbins, Jr. (1906–2000), American widely regarded as one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the 20th century, developed a comprehensive synthesis of plant evolution incorporating genetics.
- Norman Borlaug (1914–2009), American agronomist, known for breeding high yielding wheat varieties. Dubbed the "father of the green revolution"
- Richard Evans Schultes (1915–2001), American botanist and explorer, known as "The Father of Ethnobotany", Linnean Society gold medal winner.
- Bibliography of biology
- Botanical garden and List of botanical gardens
- Flowers and List of flowers
- Genomics of domestication
- History of phycology
- History of plant systematics
- List of botanical journals
- List of botanists
- List of botanists by author abbreviation
- List of domesticated plants
- List of Russian botanists
- List of systems of plant taxonomy
- Plant community
- Plant reproductive morphology
- Soil science
- Weed science
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Books & journals
- Addelson, Barbara (December 2003). "Natural Science Institute in Botany and Ecology for Elementary Teachers". Botanical Gardens Conservation International. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
- Attenborough, David (1995). The Private Life of Plants. London: British Broadcasting Corporation (TV), Edbury Publishing – BBC Books (print). ISBN 0-563-37023-8.
- Bellamy, David (1972). Bellamy on Botany. London: Edbury Publishing – BBC Books. ISBN 0-563-10666-2.
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Academic and scientific
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- Environmental botany
- Crawley, Michael J. (1997). Plant Ecology (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Ltd. ISBN 0-632-03639-7.
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- Plant physiology
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- Taiz, Lincoln; Zeiger, Eduardo (2006). Plant Physiology (4th ed.). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates. ISBN 0-87893-856-7.
- Taiz, Lincoln; Zeiger, Eduardor (2010). Plant Physiology (5th ed.). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates. ISBN 0-87893-866-4.
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