[Plant-education] First-year plant lab

Janice Glime via plant-ed%40net.bio.net (by jmglime from mtu.edu)
Wed Jul 20 12:28:47 EST 2011

   Do you have adequate facilities for growing things?  Students could 
ask various questions about how the phyla handle light or moisture 
alteration or nutrients, or they could culture gametophytes and compare 
viability or time to maturation or requirements.  Tropisms are fun, but 
only need a few days; they could ask questions about light vs gravity in 
a variety of kinds of plants (phyla) and compare these to their common 
habitats.  I am thinking it might be fun to experiment with pillbugs and 
look at herbivory on the various phyla, then look at protein, 
carbohydrate, and defense compounds and compare these with growth rate 
and where the plants live.  That would take less room and could probably 
be done with one plant group at a time if necessary, or a series of 
experiments.  Do you have any opportunity for a field trip to see the 
various phyla?  Students could hypothesize about protein, carbohydrate, 
defense, and degree of herbivory based on field observations and design 
some experiments to test their hypotheses.  Feeding experiments are fun 
and lead to more questions.  Students could develop a second set of 
hypotheses related to seasons, kind of herbivores, food preferences, why 
those preferences.  This could be used to tie together many concepts of 
evolution, systematics, ecology, and physiology.

On 7/19/2011 11:47 PM, Jon Monroe wrote:
> Hi all,
> We're looking for an investigative, multi-week plant lab to use in a 
> first-year biology course.  Do you have such a lab that works well and 
> that students like?  Our course is called Organisms and it is a walk 
> through the nodes of the phylogenetic tree, so it isn't a diversity 
> course, but it isn't heavily cellular either.  Thanks!
> Jon

Dr. Janice Glime, Professor Emerita
   (Michigan Technological University)
Manager of Bryonet, Past President of IAB
219 Hubbell St.
Houghton, MI 49331 USA
email:  jmglime from mtu.edu
phone:  906-482-1610

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