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Abstract Detail

Developmental and Structural Section


Plant anatomy student projects online:  a source of internal plant structure of plants of the desert Southwest and cultivars of the Phoenix Metropolitan area.

For the past 16 years, students at Arizona State University taking Plant Anatomy (BOT 350, later PLB 306) have brought in their favorite plants, sectioned, photographed, and described them as part of an annual class project. (We prohibited Cactaceae after year one, declaring our lab a glochid-free zone). We have edited images of around 142 genera in 79 families, studied by 256 students, assisted by 7 TAs. Because of our location in Tempe, AZ within the largest metropolitan area of the desert Southwest, native plants of the Sonoran desert and subtropical ornamental cultivars dominate the collection. Images from this collection from 1999-2004 were scanned in from original 2 x 2 Kodachrome slides, those from 2005 on were digitally produced. Currently we are preparing selected images and data to be included in the James E. Canright Morphology and Anatomy Collections, Arizona State University to be housed on SEINet (Southwest Environmental Information Network at: ). These images will serve as a resource to complement the plant habit and herbarium specimen images available commonly online. Anatomical structure will be of interest to a varied group of individuals including students, plant ecologists and conservationists focusing on plant structure/function adaptations as well as systematists interested in phylogenetically informative taxonomic characters. Native Southwest genera in the collection include desert adapted trees and shrubs: Acacia, Olneya, Prosopis, Bursera, Larrea, Nicotiana, Ephedra, Simmondsia, Opuntia, Baileya, Agave, Justicia, Baccharis, Asclepias, Selaginella, Euphorbia Among the most commonly represented cultivars are ornamental trees and shrubs: Sophora, Magnolia, Bauhinia, Ficus, Pyrus, Thevetia, Olea, Acer, Eucalyptus, Nerium, Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, Tecoma, Herbs and edible plants: Citrus, Vitis, Origanum, Lavendula, Capsicum, Cucumis, Solanum and florist plants (Rosa, Gladiolus, orchids) 3) Other morphologically interesting plants such as Venus fly trap, Equisetum, Passiflora, Juncus, Pinus, Nymphaea. Having students section and photograph real plants connects the abstract study of plant structure to the real world and generates questions, hypotheses and discussion about structure, function and plant adaptations, particularly to extreme environments. Virtual images generated from these originally hands-on anatomy projects thus link real time lab projects with online resources that can be used to explore anatomical structure often difficult to find online.

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Related Links:

1 - Arizona State University, School of Life Sciences, PO Box 874501, Tempe, AZ, 85287-4501, USA
2 - Arizona State University, SCHOOL OF LIFE SCIENCES FACULTY & ADMIN, BOX 874501, Tempe, AZ, 85287-4501, USA

Native plants
Digital Collections
undergraduate education.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Eyrie/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PDS010
Abstract ID:480
Candidate for Awards:Developmental and Structural Section best poster

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