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Inch by inch, row by row: some botanical information to help your garden grow

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These slides are from my talk for the Royal Canadian Institute for Science, on April 6, 2017, at Mississauga Public Library, main branch: http://rciscience.ca/lectures/winter-2017-rcitalks/

Here is the summary:
'The Nobel prizewinner, Albert Szent-Györgi, reminded us that photosynthesis is “what drives life”, and “is a little current, kept up by the sunshine”. Every plant can take in carbon dioxide and water, and make simple sugars, while giving off oxygen. We will discuss some botany basics to enhance your appreciation of flowers, fungi, seaweed and bacteria, and this information will help you to plan your garden better. Dawn’s husband grew okra, ladies’ fingers, in their Toronto garden in 2016.

Dawn is a professor of Biology in the Faculty of Science at York University in Toronto, where she has taught since 1990. She was Director of IRIS, the university-wide Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (2006-11 and 2012-14). At IRIS, Dawn’s mission was to develop, lead and support interdisciplinary research on diverse fronts. The Globe and Mail’s 2014 Canadian University Report singled her out as York University’s HotShot Professor. Dawn trained as an ecologist in the field of plant-herbivore interactions, and has carried out extensive field research in grasslands and forests, from temperate to Arctic regions. She holds a B.Sc. (Biogeography and Environmental Studies) and M.Sc. (Botany) from the University of Toronto. Her D.Phil. in Zoology, from Oxford University’s Edward Grey Institute in Field Ornithology, looked at sheep grazing behaviour. She is a grass biologist who urges people to think about digging up their lawns!'

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Inch by inch, row by row: some botanical information to help your garden grow

  1. 1. Inch by Inch, Row by Row Some botanical information to help your garden grow 🎶🎶 Dawn Bazely Biology Department, York University, Toronto
  2. 2. Map of my talk Our Landscape: Past & Present Biomes & Ecozones Gardening Zones Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Ecosystem Services Digging up your lawn for: Local Food Native Biodiversity Our Landscape
  3. 3. Most Canadians live within 100 km of the US border Map – Government of Canada Our Landscape
  4. 4. Southwestern Ontario:
 the most densely settled part of Canada Intense urban, industrial & agricultural land use 5-15% Natural Habitat cover The Mixed Wood Ecozone Our Landscape
  5. 5. Not the view from a plane leaving Pearson Airport! Not Our Landscape
  6. 6. Our Landscape
  7. 7. Our Landscape
  8. 8. York University Fall Scene Our Landscape
  9. 9. https://caroliniancanada.ca/
  10. 10. “Nature, Humboldt (1769-1859) realized, was a web of life and a global force. Later, in Mexico, he would find pines, cypresses and oaks that were similar to those that grew in Canada. Any questions about Landscapes before we talk Biomes? -Andrea Wulf
  11. 11. Map of my talk Our Landscape: Past & Present Biomes & Ecozones Gardening Zones Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Ecosystem Services Digging up your lawn for: Local Food Native Biodiversity Biomes & Ecozones
  12. 12. WHAT IS A GRADIENT? 🌎 🌍 🌏 A. von Humboldt et al. 1807 Biomes & Ecozones
  13. 13. By Jwratner1 at Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by FastilyClone using MTC!., CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49654949 🌞 ☔ 🌞 ⛄ 🌊 💧 💧
  14. 14. Biomes & Ecozones Temperate Forest GulfStream Toronto Tromsø
  15. 15. Tromsø Botanic Garden is above the arctic circle. Warm currents modify climates allowing forests to reach further north than in Greenland & Canada. Biomes & Ecozones
  16. 16. Ontario forest Trillium grows well in Tromsø Botanic Garden Biomes & Ecozones
  17. 17. A Landscape Assessment for the Ontario Mixedwood Plains: Terrestrial Biodiversity of Federal Interest in the Mixedwood Plains Ecozone of Ontario – 2015 http://ec.gc.ca/nature/default.asp?lang=En&n=3B824EDF-1#_Toc409436375 Biomes & Ecozones
  18. 18. Our Mixedwood Plains Ecozone of the Temperate Forest Biome has many native species that are not doing well Biomes & Ecozones
  19. 19. “A biome is a formation of plants and animals that have common characteristics due to similar climates, and can be found over a range of continents” Any questions about Biomes & Ecozones? -Wikipedia
  20. 20. Map of my talk Our Landscape: Past & Present Biomes & Ecozones Gardening Zones Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Ecosystem Services Digging up your lawn for: Local Food Native Biodiversity Gardening Zones
  21. 21. Gardening Zones
  22. 22. Map of my talk Our Landscape: Past & Present Ecozones & Biomes Gardening Zones Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Ecosystem Services Digging up your lawn for: Local Food Native Biodiversity Autotrophs & Photosynthesis
  23. 23. “What drives life is… a little current, kept up by the sunshine” -Albert Szent-Györgi 1937 Nobel Prize in Physiology
  24. 24. Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Autotrophs make their own food Photosynthesis uses carbon dioxide CO2 and water H2O to make sugars 6 CO2 + 6 H2O ➡ C6 H12O6 + 6 O2 Autotrophs & Photosynthesis
  25. 25. Autotrophs & Photosynthesis By Kristian Peters -- Fabelfroh (photographed by myself) [GFDL (http:// www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons By Kelvinsong (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons By Mnolf (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http:// www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons palisade parenchyma cell wall cuticle upper epidermis spongy parenchyma
  26. 26. Photosynthesis 🍃Leaves are little factories producing sugar, starch, proteins, amino acids and nucleic acids These primary metabolites are found in all plant cells https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=wj8TGhcCnxs Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Page (right) from Moon & Mann 1941 Biology Henry Holt, NY.
  27. 27. Photosynthesis A clear 1 minute overview https://youtu.be/prFaSe3s9e0 Autotrophs & Photosynthesis
  28. 28. Chloropyll is green But, chloroplasts have other photosynthetic pigments
  29. 29. The water vs. CO2 trade-off Autotrophs & PhotosynthesisWilting leaves (1) may (2) or may not (3) recover
  30. 30. Plants have evolved ways to reduce water loss • At high temperatures, plants lose water through open stomata, so 2 other kinds of photosynthesis have evolved to save water • C4 and CAM photosynthesis, are found in plants from warmer biomes (deserts) Autotrophs & Photosynthesis
  31. 31. From Carleton CERC Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Dinosaur extinction was 65 M yrs BP 🌸at 125 M yrs BP Vascular plant land colonizers emerged in the Ordovician 510-439 m yrs BP
  32. 32. A vascular plant Has special cells, xylem and phloem, that move water & nutrients through the plant body The oldest known vascular plant, Cooksonia, dates to 414-408 Million yrs ago Autotrophs & PhotosynthesisDinosaur extinction was 65 M yrs BP
  33. 33. Wood Evolving wood allowed plants to grow taller By 359 million years ago wood-like tissue had evolved eg progymnosperms, like Archaeopteris (right), 290 M yrs BP By Retallack (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/ 4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons Autotrophs & PhotosynthesisDinosaur extinction was 65 M yrs BP
  34. 34. Seeds Seed plants arose in the Late Devonian, about 365 million years ago By Verisimilus - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https:// commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3554317 Autotrophs & PhotosynthesisDinosaur extinction was 65 M yrs BP
  35. 35. Early Devonian Landscape Panel by Rob Evans at Smith College Botanic Garden Dinosaur extinction was 65 M yrs BP Autotrophs & Photosynthesis
  36. 36. 🌼🌹🌸Flowering/Fruit Plants 🌻🌺🌷 The most recently evolved plant kingdom members A younger lineage than seed plants Archaefructus sinensis, earliest flowering plant fossil, from China (Sun et al. 2002) 125 million years old Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Dinosaur extinction was 65 m yrs BP
  37. 37. Archaefructus sinensis • Had simple roots, herbaceous stems, dissected leaves, stamens and carpels • No petals or sepals • Probably lived in shallow water • Diagram by Simons & Dilcher (Sun et al 2002) Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Dinosaur extinction was 65 m yrs BP
  38. 38. “It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees. Any questions about photosynthesis? -Wangari Maathai 2004 Nobel Peace Prize
  39. 39. Fossil Fuels Carboniferous swamp (362-290 m yrs BP) Figure from Book 15 of the 4th edition of Meyers Konversationslexikon Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Dinosaur extinction was 65 m yrs BP
  40. 40. What did coal-forming plants look like?
  41. 41. Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Boreal
  42. 42. “What has become clear from the science is that we cannot burn all of the fossil fuels without creating a very different planet. Any questions about fossil fuels? -James Hansen
  43. 43. Climate Change means more carbon dioxide & higher temperatures • Joker’s Hill field station, University of Toronto, north of Toronto • Infra-red arrays warm plots and arrays that spray CO2 over plots Autotrophs & Photosynthesis
  44. 44. Hardiness Zone Shifts https:// www.arborday.org/ media/ mapchanges.cfm Autotrophs & PhotosynthesisGardening Zones
  45. 45. “Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. These include provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services such as flood and disease control; cultural services such as spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits; and supporting services, such as nutrient cycling, that maintain the conditions for life on Earth. -Millenium Ecosystem Assessment Board
  46. 46. Map of my talk Our Landscape: Past & Present Ecozones & Biomes Gardening Zones Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Ecosystem Services Digging up your lawn for: Local Food Native Biodiversity Ecosystem Services
  47. 47. Agriculture & Horticulture are mobile Human civilization as we know it today is built on the back of introduced species 14 main plant species make up the global food supply Ecosystem Services
  48. 48. Agriculture is Global 6 high carbohydrate food plants provide >80% of total calories consumed directly or indirectly, by all people Wheat, Rice, Maize, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Manioc They are the direct and indirect basis of these calories i.e. eaten directly or fed to animals Ecosystem Services
  49. 49. Other 8 main global crops Sugarcane, Sugarbeet, Common beans, Soybeans, Barley, Sorghum, Coconuts, and Bananas Carbs are eaten with protein-rich legumes - beans, peas, lentils, soybeans and peanuts Leafy green veggies (lettuce, cabbage, spinach and chard), provide essential vitamins and minerals Sunflower seeds and olives provide fats Ecosystem Services
  50. 50. c.3000 plants ever cultivated for food Only 150 plants widely cultivated Introduced plants are everywhere They bring other species with them Some non-indigenous species cause economic & ecological problems What are the benefits of Local Food & Native Biodiversity? Ecosystem Services
  51. 51. $19.29 in Mittimatalik/ Pond Inlet, Nunavut $2.37 in Parkdale, Toronto, Ontario Food Security
  52. 52. “The quest for food security can be the common thread that links the different challenges we face and helps build a sustainable future.” Any questions about Ecosystem Services? -José Graziano da Silva, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General
  53. 53. Map of my talk Our Landscape: Past & Present Ecozones & Biomes Gardening Zones Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Ecosystem Services Digging up your lawn for: Local Food Native Biodiversity Local Food
  54. 54. Local Food
  55. 55. Local Food
  56. 56. Jerusalem Artichokes in my Toronto garden
  57. 57. Native Crops Along with wild rice, Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus, is the only indigenous crop plant in the Great Lakes region J-chokes were introduced to Europe, where they became a survival food Digging up the lawnLocal Food
  58. 58. Digging up the lawn for Local Food 30-60 lbs of Jerusalem Artichokes per year In Toronto, tuberous sunflowers (common name) are now a gourmet veggie that makes a great Bisque
  59. 59. From TG Rouf’s Biography of Paul Peter Buffalo http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/troufs/Buffalo/PB14.html
  60. 60. Local Food Heirloom Varieties
  61. 61. Local FoodRhubarb, Okra, Carrots From easy to more challenging
  62. 62. Where to find seeds & bulbs/roots Local Food
  63. 63. Local Garden Open Houses
  64. 64. “If you want to be happy for a short time, get drunk; happy for a long time, fall in love; happy for ever, take up gardening. Any questions?
  65. 65. Map of my talk Our Landscape: Past & Present Ecozones & Biomes Gardening Zones Autotrophs & Photosynthesis Ecosystem Services Digging up your lawn for: Local Food Native Biodiversity Native Biodiversity
  66. 66. Native Biodiversity
  67. 67. Native Biodiversity These native plants will do better than your lawn grass
  68. 68. Native Biodiversity Where to find plants and seeds
  69. 69. Native Biodiversity Native vs. non-native plants
  70. 70. Native Biodiversity Native vs. non-native plants
  71. 71. Native Biodiversity Native trees and shrubs
  72. 72. Native Biodiversity Battling non-native garden pests
  73. 73. Get Connected local libraries botanic gardens conservation authorities local shows Learn More about Growing Food & Native Biodiversity
  74. 74. #InTheZone Sign up to get help with growing native species in your garden with Carolinian Canada & WWF Canada http:// www.inthezonegardens.ca/
  75. 75. Royal Botanic Gardens & Toronto Botanic Gardens Hold open houses & workshops
  76. 76. “The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world. Thank you. Any questions? -Michael Pollan
  77. 77. These Keele Campus students from York University, discovered the Glendon Campus Gardens last Fall 2016 Southern Ontario has lots of gardens featuring native plants and local food to help you plan yours

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