BIOLOGY OF PLANTS (BIOL2010) Winter term

Course description: An overview of the diversity and biology of organisms traditionally included in the Plant Kingdom: algae, lichens, mosses, ferns, gymnosperms and flowering plants. These groups will be presented in a “tree of life” evolutionary perspective. Emphasis throughout the course is on the relationship between structural and functional adaptations in plants and how these have influenced their survival and evolution in various ecosystems. Symbioses and co-evolutionary relationships among different kinds of plants, and with other groups of organisms, are also considered. Last but not least, the importance of plants to humans will be discussed.

Text book: Stern's Introductory Plant Biology. Authors: Bidlack and Jansky

Lab book: Available at MUN's bookstore

"The Photographic Atlas for the Botany Laboratory" is not mandatory but highly recommeded to purchase for the labs.



Course Description: In the first part of the course first half of the course (Miller) we will cover museum collections, which are central to the history of and modern research in biogeography. We will also study selected topics in systematics. In biogeography we will mainly consider terrestrial distributions of plants and animals: basic distributional paterns; description, analysis, and interpretation of patterns; and evolutionary (including palaeontological) interpretation of patterns. We will also study applications of biogeography in conservation and applied biology. In the second half of the course (Roncal) we will give an introduction on character types, their coding and use in systematics. The concept of a phylogenetic tree and how to reconstruct them using different approaches will be presented. Finally, we will discuss how phylogenetic trees can be used in biogeographic and ecological hypothesis testing. Students will be assigned several readings on which to report in class throughout the course.

The books "Tree Thinking: An Introduction to Phylogenetic Biology" by Baum and Smith, and "Biogeography" by Lomolino are highly recommended reference texts. This course has a strong computer laboratory component where students will learn how to use some software like DIVA-GIS, Mega, Mesquite, and BEAST. The book “Phylogenetic Trees Made Easy” by Barry Hall is a good resource for the lab.

Class material is posted at the university’s course management system D2L https://online.mun.ca/index.asp?logout=1




Julissa Roncal

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000