trees, cotton, flax, hemp, bamboo, papyrus


rose, orange, lavender, orchids, sandalwood, lilac, jasmine, lily of the valley, pine


tobacco (nicotine sulfate), derris (rotenone), chrysanthemum (pyrethrum), citronella, garlic, citrus


hemp, agave (sisal)


rubber tree, guayule


palm oil, coconut, jojoba, aloe, trees, herbs, fruits


coconut, palm oil, cacao, lavender, herbs, fruits

Sports equipment

balata (golf balls), persimmon (golf club heads), ash (baseball bats), ebony and ash (pool cues)


mint, wheat, palm oil, coconut

Tourist attractions

redwoods, giant sequoias, saguaro cactuses, fall foliage, Holland tulips


carnauba palm, cauassu, candelilla, bayberry

figure 27-6

Coal is a dark-colored, organic rock. Complex chemical and physical changes produced coal from the remains of plants that grew in prehistoric swamps millions of years ago.


Most of the energy we use for heat, electricity, and machine fuel comes from fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas. Figure 27-6 shows a coal deposit being uncovered by an earth-moving machine. Fossil fuels are composed of stored photosynthetic energy from millions of years ago. In developing nations, much of the fuel comes from wood or other plant materials. For example, grains can be fermented into alcohol and mixed with gasoline to make gasohol. Gasohol, which is made of about 10 percent alcohol, is an alternative fuel for automobiles.

□ MtenMliOHVud Topic: Fossil Fuels Keyword: HM60614 Topic: Fossil Fuels Keyword: HM60614

Maintained by the

Maintained by the riiL National Science ti\n J5. Teachers Association

Careers in BIOLOGY


Job Description Ethnobotanists are scientists who study the ways in which people make use of plants, whether for food, medicine, or other purposes. Ethnobotanists are often involved in the collection of plants, the conservation of endangered species, and the research of traditional plant medicines.

Focus On an Ethnobotanist

Ethnobotanist Paul Cox travels to remote places to look for plants that can help cure diseases. He seeks the advice of native healers in his search. For example, Cox traveled to the Pacific island of Samoa in 1984 to meet a 78-year-old healer named Epenesa. She was able to identify more than 200 medicinal plants, and she had an accurate understanding of human anatomy. Epenesa gave Cox samples of her medicines, which he brought back to the United States for study. American researchers studying her remedies discovered antiviral and anti-inflammatory compounds. Many other plant substances, obtained by ethnobotanists with the assistance of native healers, are being studied in laboratories for their healing properties. Many of the practitioners of traditional medicine are elderly. When they die, generations of medical knowledge often die with them. The need for Cox and other ethnobotanists to record the ancient wisdom of native healers is urgent.

Education and Skills

• High school—three years of science courses and four years of math courses.

College—bachelor of science (B.S.) in biology, including course work in botany, chemistry, and anthropology, followed by a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in botony, chemistry, anthropology, or linguistics, plus field and lab experience. Skills—patience, ability to learn new languages, self-motivation, respect for other cultures, and field survivial skills.

For more about careers, visit and type in the keyword HM6 Careers.

For more about careers, visit and type in the keyword HM6 Careers.

figure 27-7

The California redwood trees are a majestic sight. Redwoods usually grow 60-84 m (200-275 ft) high.The bark is very thick, making the trees resistant to fires.

Other Uses of Plants

Ornamental trees, shrubs, and other plants outside our homes do much more than provide beauty. Besides their decorative function, they improve the environment by preventing soil erosion, reducing noise, providing habitats for wild animals, acting as windbreaks, providing shade, and moderating temperatures, which, in turn, reduces home heating and cooling costs. Scientists have also found that ornamental plants improve our mental well-being. Gardening has long been a popular hobby in the United States, and it is an important form of exercise for millions of people.

Many plants have become major tourist attractions, such as the California redwoods shown in Figure 27-7. Another popular American tourist attraction is the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. The park features large areas of fossilized trees. And many yearly festivals, including the Tournament of Roses in California every New Year's Day and the Cherry Festival in Michigan each May, are held around the United States to celebrate plants. In addition, many people visit the forests of the northeastern United States every fall to view the spectacular changing leaf colors.

Plants are essential to our survival because they produce virtually all of our food, and they enhance our lives in many ways. Growing cut flowers is now a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry, and it is only a small part of the huge business of growing and using plants. Plants can also provide the inspiration to develop innovative products. The cocklebur plant provided the idea for hook and loop fasteners when the hooked fruit was caught in the inventor's clothing. Plants have made our lives better in numerous ways, and they undoubtedly will continue to do so in the future.

The California redwood trees are a majestic sight. Redwoods usually grow 60-84 m (200-275 ft) high.The bark is very thick, making the trees resistant to fires.

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