Module Identifier BS13810  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Ian M Scott  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Aileen R Smith  
Pre-Requisite Normally A or A/S level Biology or its equivalent.  
Course delivery Lecture   16 x 1h lectures  
  Practical   3 x 3 h practicals (duplicated if class size requires)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam1.5 Hours Single theory examination  70%
Semester Assessment1.5 Hours Single practical examination  30%
Supplementary Exam1.5 Hours Single theory examination  70%
Supplementary Assessment1.5 Hours Single practical examination  30%

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, the student should be able to


The lectures explore the structural features found in the plant kingdom, starting with the basic types of cells and tissues. The morphologies and internal organization of plant organs are reviewed, covering: the primary growth of stems, leaves, roots, woody stems, flowers and fruits. Higher plants necessarily dominate this survey because of their complexity and abundance. Ecophysiological mechanisms are discussed where these reflect biodiversity.

The diversity of the modern land flora is discussed commencing with the nonvascular plants (mosses and liverworts). The vascular plants without seeds, such as ferns, are reviewed, including discussions of their possible evolutionary relationships with nonvascular plants on the one hand, and the early seed plants on the other. The diversity of seed plants, including gymnosperms and angiosperms, is examined, with emphasis on the distinction between monocots and dicots.

The practical sessions are held in the second half of the semester, and are integrated with the lectures. The practicals include a visit to the Tropical Glasshouse and outdoor plants of the Botany Gardens. An ecophysiological experiment in the Teaching Glasshouse demonstrates the effects of water saturation deficits and mineral nutrition in different species. The practicals also include microscopic analysis of plant internal structure and examination of plant material illustrating the diversity of the modern and fossil land flora.


The module provides a basic overview of plant biodiversity, including its evolutionary origins, and teaches the elementary knowledge of plant anatomy and morphology needed for the plant identification skills of botanists, zoologists and environmental scientists engaged in terrestrial fieldwork.

Module Skills

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Campbell, N. and Reece, J. (2005) Biology 7th. Benjamin Cummings Publishers
** Reference Text
Mauseth, J.D. (2003) Botany 3rd. Jones & Bartlett


This module is at CQFW Level 4