We explain what botany is and what are the branches of study covered by this discipline. Also, what is zoology?
What is botany?
Botany is a discipline , within biology , which is responsible for the study of the plant kingdom from various axes such as operation, reproduction , description, geographic distribution and classification of plants.
Among the organisms that study botany are lichens, algae, mosses, fungi , ferns, flowering plants and liverworts.
This branch of biology, which focuses on the plant kingdom, can be divided into two large groups:
- Pure Botany It is dedicated to the approach of the vegetable kingdom as a basic science . From this branch, studies related to adaptations, development, characteristics, classifications, functions, distribution and composition of the various species of algae, fungi and plants emerge .
- Botany applied. The study of the vegetable kingdom is focused for practical purposes. For example, its use for the production of remedies, food , cosmetics or logging.
The philosopher of Ancient Greece, Theophrastus, is considered the father of this branch of biology , following the treaties he made linked to the history and causes of plants.
People who study plants, algae and fungi are called botanists and use two methods to carry out their studies:
- Botanical Garden. They are natural gardens where collections of all kinds of species are preserved and exhibited to be analyzed, studied, researched and preserved.
- International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. There the rules are established to name the species that this branch of biology studies.
- Herbal. It is a collection of dissected and classified plants that make up an information bank.
What does botany study?
According to the object of study, different branches can be identified within the botany. Some of them are the following:
- Phytochemistry This branch of botany is dedicated to addressing the chemical elements that come from plants, called “phytochemicals”, and which are usually applied in the pharmaceutical industry. Botanists who specialize in this branch are dedicated to describing the chemicals found, along with their structures, functions and biosynthesis.
- Histology . Within botany, this is the branch that deals with the anatomy of tissues and cells . A basic instrument in this area is the microscope .
- Phytogeography This branch focuses on the study of the geographic distribution of vegetables and how they influence the earth’s surface.
- Cell biology It is the branch that addresses the functions and structures of cells. Botanists who specialize in this area focus on studying metabolic processes, distribution of organelles, interactions and life cycles of the basic unit of life. In the case of botany, all these studies focus on plant cells.
- Paleobotany Within this branch, botanists are dedicated to the reconstruction of ancient habitats , to the evolution of the various species throughout history and to their links with the rest of living beings . The starting point to carry out these studies are plant debris.
- Palinology This branch of botany is specifically dedicated to the study of spores and pollen grains.
- Phytopathology It is the branch that addresses the diseases suffered by plants, caused by environmental conditions or pathogens such as viruses , bacteria , parasitic fungi, among others. Phytopathology is dedicated to the etiology of diseases, the identification of these pathogens, the resistance of plants to these diseases and their impact on other living beings.
- Embryology. It is the branch of botany that focuses on the study of embryos.
- Geobotany It is the branch that is dedicated to study what are the living conditions in which the various plant species develop. To do this, it focuses on identifying the survival strategies that each plant develops along with the characteristics of the environment in which it grows.
- Organography It is the branch within botany that is dedicated to study in depth the different organs that make up the plants. In this way, he manages to identify his qualities along with his functions.
According to the group of plants studied, different branches can be identified:
- Pteridology It is the branch that addresses ferns.
- Ficology Also called algology, this branch is dedicated to addressing algae.
- Bryology. He is dedicated to studying liverworts and musks.
- Lichenology It is the branch that studies lichen.
- Mycology. It focuses on the study of fungi.
Zoology is another branch, within biology, which focuses on the study of animals . It addresses the behavior and distribution of the various species and their interaction with the rest of the living beings with whom they live.
In addition, zoology is dedicated to developing morphological and anatomical descriptions of each of the identified species.