Plantae

Plantae is the kingdom that contains organisms commonly referred to as plants. Similar to animals, plants are also multi-cellular eukaryotes. Organisms within Plantae have cell walls containing cellulose and their cells also contain chlorophyll. They also tend to be autotrophs that typically use photosynthesis to create energy (food) for themselves. However, there are some parasitic and carnivorous plants that don’t rely, or don’t fully rely, on photosynthesis that still are classed within Plantae.

About Phylogeny

Phylogeny is about the evolutionary relationships (the relatedness) of organisms. It shows us where in history organisms became different from one another, and which species they are more closely related to. Phylogeny is reflected in the taxonomy and binomial names (scientific names) of organisms.

Phylogeny can be useful in conservation as some more-related organisms may react in a similar way to certain threats. What has worked to conserve one organism may also help conserve another in a similar manner.

Binomial names are generated from the genus name and the species name. These names are typically written in italics, with a capital only at the beginning of the genus name.
Example: Tiliqua rugosa (Bobtail lizard)

There are different levels of taxonomic classification, with each becoming more specific from kingdom until species:

Kindom

Phylum

Class

Order

Family

Genus

Species

*In some cases these levels may also have sub-levels, such as a sub-phylum*

Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services are benefits (typically in relation to people) that stem from ecosystems. Thus, ecosystem services are often highlighted when some people ask: why is conservation important? (particularly in terms of conserving ecosystems)

These services are easily explained across 4 categories:

Regulation Services

Ecosystem process regulate many things which we benefit from.
Some examples:

  • Carbon storage and cycling (which also indirectly aids the regulation climate)
  • Decontamination of natural water systems
  • Regulation of pests

Provisioning Services

Products that are created within ecosystems, that can be harvested/used by humans.
Some examples:

  • Food, including seafood
  • Medicine
  • Wood
  • Energy (energy created from biomass is the most obvious example)
  • Shells, feathers and other tokens used for fashion, decoration or worship

Cultural Services

Non-material benefits.
Some examples:

  • Recreational benefits (eg. hiking in a beautiful forest)
  • Spiritual benefits and historical benefits (eg. heritage and beliefs that involve nature)
  • Cultural benefits (eg. the use of nature in artworks, books and other media)
  • Educational benefits (eg. scientific discovery, and inspiration to young learners)

Supporting Services

Processes that are needed to allow for ecosystems to provide other services.
Some examples:

  • Soil formation and maintenance
  • Nutrient cycling