The branch of biological science that deals with study of plants and plant life is called Botany. Studies in this field may range from microscopic observations of the smallest and obscurest plants to the study of trees of forest. Botany can be divided into plant anatomy, plant chemistry, plant cytology, plant ecology, plant embryology, plant genetics, plant morphology, plant physiology, plant taxonomy, ethnobotany, paleobotany on the basis of subject matter. It maybe divided according to study of plants – agostology, algology, bryology, mycology, and pteridology.
Botany includes or covers a wide range of scientific disciplines that study plants, algae, fungi such as
# Chemical properties
# Evolutionary relationships between different groups.
SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE OF BOTANY
Study of plants is very important as they are a fundamental part of life on earth, which provides oxygen, food, fibers, fuel and medicine that is essential for us humans and other life forms to exist. Plants absorb CO2, a greenhouse gas through photosynthesis that affect global climate. They also prevent soil erosion and influences water cycle. Good understanding of plants allows us to:
# Produce food for feeding the expanding population.
# Understanding fundamental life processes.
# Understanding environmental changes more clearly.
# Produce medicine and materials to treat diseases and other ailments.
The fundamental base of nearly all food chains are the plants as they use the energy from the sun and utilize nutrients from the soil and atmosphere, converts it into a form that can be consumed and utilized by the animals. Ecologists call this the first Trophic level. Botanists study about how food is produced by the plants into the form that we consume and how to increase yields from plants so that it would be able to support present generation and provide food security to future generations e.g. Through plant breeding, so their work is very important. A botanist also study weeds and provides methods to reduce the amount of weeds in agriculture as it’s a very considerable problem in agriculture.
FUNDAMENTAL LIFE PROCESSES
Fundamental life processes such as cell division, protein synthesis can be studied very effectively in plants.
MEDICINE AND MATERIALS
Plants provide many medicinal and recreational drugs such as caffeine, nicotine etc and derivatives of botanical natural products such as aspirin, salicyclic acid and narcotic analgesics such as morphine.
Plants provide us with many natural materials such as cotton, wood, paper, linen, vegetable oils, silk etc.
Plants help us in understanding environment in many ways such as:
# Helps in understanding habitat destruction and species extinction on basis of accurate and complete catalog of plant taxonomy and systematics.
# Plants response to U.V radiation can help us in addressing problems such as ozone depletion.
# Lichens, which are extremely sensitive to atmosphere conditions, are widely used as pollution indicators.
# To record and analyze timing of plant life cycles that helps in climate change research.