|MadSci Network: Botany|
From a human standpoint plants provide: - Oxygen production, which also lead to spontaneous ozone layer formation - Major role in formation of soils - Prevention of soil erosion - Major part of hydrologic cycle - Major part of biogeochemical cycling of many elements such as nitrogen and phosphorus - Basis of food chains - Major effects on moderating climates - Habitats for many other organisms - Food - Beverages (coffee, tea, chocolate, quinine water) - Clothing - Shelter - Furniture - Building materials (lumber, bamboo) - Paper - Fuels - Fibers (hemp, flax, etc.) - Perfumes - Cosmetics - Soaps - Sports equipment (baseball bats, golf balls, tennis rackets, bows and arrows) - Shampoos - Medicines - Herbal supplements (ginkgo) - Flavorings - Dyes - Industrial products (rubber, cork, alcohol, sugars, soaps, oils, tannins, turpentine, linseed oil for paints) - Aesthetics (home lawns, ornamental trees, shrubs and vines; cut flowers, potted flowering plants, shade trees, house plants) - Recreation areas (forests, grass athletic fields, botanic gardens, golf courses, arboretums, grass tennis courts) - Jobs (plant agriculture is a major employer) - Leisure activities (gardening is top leisure activity) - Water purification - Air purification - Phytoremediation - Intellectual enjoyment from learning and knowing about plants - Pesticides (nicotine sulfate, pyrethrins, ricin, rotenone, etc.) - Thorny plants used for security landscaping - Noise abatement as with hedges and trees - Plants as novelties (Chia pets, venus fly trap, resurrection plant, sensitive plant, etc.) - Craft items (pine cones, seed pods, dried flowers, Spanish moss, bald cypress knees, etc.) - Jewelry (amber - fossilized tree sap, seeds, ginkgo leaves) - Holiday Decorations (Christmas trees and greens, cranberry and popcorn strings, Indian corn for Thanksgiving, pumpkins for Halloween) - Symbols (state trees and flowers, national symbols like Canada maple leaf, USA national flower is rose) - Plant forms depicted in arts and on stamps, coins, clothing, etc. (Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers and 'Irises' two of world's most expensive paintings) - Ancient and huge trees revered and admired (redwoods, sequoia, bristlecone pine, ginkgo, etc.) "Negative" ways plants are important to people include: - Poisonous plants (poison ivy, poison hemlock, ricin from castor bean, locoweed, and many others) - Plants that cause pollen allergies (ragweed and many others) - Weeds and invasive plants (water hyacinth, purple nutsedge, etc.) - Harmful products (cigarettes, alcohol, cocaine, opium) - Thorny plants A web search on many of these topics on google.com will turn up plenty of additional info. References Re: What type of plants are used in everyday household products? Importance of Plants Importance of plants and plant communities Why Plants? What are Worst Weeds?
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