There are approximately 250,000 plant species on the planet Earth. The importance of plants as the primary means of converting minerals and solar energy into 'life' is critical to the functioning of all other forms of life, including humans and the planet as a whole. This unit focuses on developing a fuller understanding of the diversity and evolution of plants (including algae fungi), particularly in the Australian context. This understanding helps us to come to a greater appreciation of the role plants play in our everyday life. More specifically, there is emphasis on the morphological characteristics and life histories of the various major plant groups, their evolution and relationships, systematics, nomenclature, identification and classification. Additionally, there is a focus on how the biogeography of Australian plants can be explained by their life history and the history of the continent and particularly, how and why Australia has evolved a diverse and highly endemic primarily sclerophyllous flora where the forests and woodlands are dominated by two tree genera, Eucalyptus and Acacia.
On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):