Spring.wmf (18300 bytes) Plant Physiology (Biology 327)  - Dr. Stephen G. Saupe;  College of St. Benedict/ St. John's University;  Biology Department; Collegeville, MN  56321; (320) 363 - 2782; (320) 363 - 3202, fax;    ssaupe@csbsju.edu

Exam Questions:  Plant Way of Life 

  1. What is plant physiology?

  2. The evolution of the autotrophic mode of nutrition by plants required the evolution of a variety of specialized structures for this process.  identify the problems and how plants solved them

  3. Non-motile organisms such as plants must be able to position themselves in their environment.  Describe why and how plants do this.  Cite specific examples including:  mechanism for increasing the odds of germinating in a  favorable environment, positioning the axis (gravitropism), and fine-turning mechanisms such as thigmomorphogenesis, apical dominance, phototropism, skototropism, leaf mosaics, phyllotaxy, solar tracking, etc.

  4. Describe and explain the mechanism plants use to exploit the environment for resources.  Cite specific examples such as dendritic form, indeterminate growth, asexual reproduction, and foraging strategies.

  5. Surface-to-volume ratios are very important in biology.  Explain what is meant by a S/V ratio and how they are influenced by size and shape.  Give several examples of the importance of S/V ratios in biological systems, especially plants.  Be sure to site at lest one example of the need to have a high S/V ratio and one example where a low S/V is important.

  6. Compare and contrast plants and animals in terms of body design (architectural vs. mechanical), mode of nutrition, evolutionary pressures for motility, reproduction, wastes and waste disposal.  Support your conclusions (where pertinent)_ with references to non-motile animals such as the corals.

  7. Non-motile organisms such as plant must protect themselves form a variety of physical and biological dangers in their environment.  identify the problems that confront plants, some specific dangers and how plants cope with these situations.

  8. Are plants intelligent?  Why might someone consider plants to be intelligent?  Why might someone disagree?  What do you think and why?

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Last updated:  01/29/2009     � Copyright  by SG Saupe