Plant Physiology (Biology 327)
- Dr. Stephen G. Saupe; College of St. Benedict/ St.
University; Biology Department; Collegeville, MN 56321; (320) 363 - 2782;
(320) 363 - 3202, fax;
Way of Life: Study Guide/Questions
Goal: The goal of this unit is develop an understanding of what it means
to be a plant.
Objectives: Upon completion of this unit you should be able to:
- Distinguish a plant from an animal
Discuss the significance of autotrophism in the plant way of life
Discuss the probable evolutionary pressures for motility
- Discuss the consequences of being non-motile.
Required Reading: Plant Way of Life
notes. The articles by Becker and Darley are great... check them out.
Important Terms/Concepts: (can you use these
- alternation of generation
- architectural design
- asexual reproduction
- circadian rhythms
- leaf mosaic
- mechanical design
- nonprimary reference
Some Questions For Thought And Study:
- Compare and contrast autotrophs and heterotrophs.
- Discuss the consequences of being autotrophic. How have plants responded to life as
- Compare and contrast how the
following plants obtain their nutrients: dodder, mistletoe,
bromeliads, Indian pipe, dandelion.
- Briefly summarize the five major consequences of sedentary, autotrophic life. How have
plants responded to each?
- What is a positioning mechanism? Provide some examples.
- How do plants exploit their environment? Consider dendritic form, asexual reproduction,
indeterminate growth, heterophylly, foraging and architectural design in your response.
- Compare and contrast animals and plants in terms of body design (i.e. architectural vs.
- Discuss some of the mechanisms by which plants sense changes in the environment. Why are
- Identify some of the physical and biological threats to plants. How do plants protect
themselves from these dangers?
- How do plants find a "mate" and disperse offspring?
- Discuss some of the problems unique to the plant way of life. In general how have plants
responded to each of these problems?
- Think about the statement "Plants are smarter than you think!"
- Identify the characteristics of the plant kingdom.
- Autotrophs are typically non-motile and heterotrophs are typically motile. Why did
evolution favor this situation?
- Explain why leaves are broad and flat.
- Compare animals and plants in terms of nutrients (type, concentration, location).
- Explain why plants are not limited by size.
- From a botanical perspective, some corals can be considered heterotrophic plants.
- Explain why coral is only found in relatively shallow, clear water.
- Identify the specialized structures (and their function) that plants use for
- Calculate the volume, surface area and surface-to-volume ratio of the following: (a) 1
cm x 1 cm x 1 cm; (b) 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm x 4.0 cm; (c) 0.1 cm x 0.1 cm x 100 cm
- Is a carnivorous plant autotrophic?
- Describe some pollination vectors/mechanisms.
- Describe some fruit dispersal systems.
- Explain why plants are dendritic, but animals are not.
- In what way is a tree like a coral colony?
- In what regard do plants forage for food? Identify some foraging strategies.
- How many kingdoms are there? Name them. How would you classify a virus?
Exam Questions: check out the
exam questions and
quiz questions for this unit
01/29/2009 � Copyright by SG