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Terrestrial environments are dominated by a diversity of land plants, which define the structure of ecosystems and underpin terrestrial food webs. This subject introduces the major groups of land plants from liverworts to angiosperms and fungi, concentrating on their structure, biology, ecology, systematic relationships and evolution. It is relevant for students studying plant science and those focused on terrestrial environments and ecology. Topics covered include:
- evolution, relationships and classification of land plants;
- major groups of land plants, liverworts, mosses, ferns and seed plants; their structure, biology and fossil record;
- major families of flowering plants, including Australian flora, their characteristics, biology and identification;
- major groups of fungi and their biology.
Intended learning outcomes
After completion of the lecture and practical components of this subject, students should appreciate:
- the variety and classification of land plants and fungi;
- the biology and ecology of major plant groups;
- skills in plant identification, especially Australian flora;
- use of modern identification tools including computer-interactive keys;
- the concepts of modern phylogenetics for framing evolutionary hypotheses within and between major plant groups.
Last updated: 1 March 2024