Survival skills in San Juan Capistrano are techniques that a person may use in order to sustain life in any type of natural environment or built environment. These techniques are meant to provide basic necessities for human life which include water, food, and shelter. The skills also support proper knowledge and interactions with animals and plants to promote the sustaining of life over a period of time. Practicing with a survival suit An immersion suit, or survival suit is a special type of waterproof dry suit that protects the wearer from hypothermia from immersion in cold water, after abandoning a sinking or capsized vessel, especially in the open ocean.
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Survival skills are often associated with the need to survive in a disaster situation in San Juan Capistrano .
 Survival skills are often basic ideas and abilities that ancients invented and used themselves for thousands of years.
 Outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, fishing, and hunting all require basic wilderness survival skills, especially in handling emergency situations. Bush-craft and primitive living are most often self-implemented, but require many of the same skills.
Jump to navigation Jump to search The ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes at work in the Amazon (~1940s) Ethnobotany is the study of a region's plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a local culture and people. An ethnobotanist thus strives to document the local customs involving the practical uses of local flora for many aspects of life, such as plants as medicines, foods, and clothing. Richard Evans Schultes, often referred to as the "father of ethnobotany", explained the discipline in this way: Ethnobotany simply means ... investigating plants used by societies in various parts of the world. Since the time of Schultes, the field of ethnobotany has grown from simply acquiring ethnobotanical knowledge to that of applying it to a modern society, primarily in the form of pharmaceuticals. Intellectual property rights and benefit-sharing arrangements are important issues in ethnobotany. Plants have been widely used by American Indian healers, such as this Ojibwa man. The idea of ethnobotany was first proposed by the early 20th century botanist John William Harshberger. While Harshberger did perform ethnobotanical research extensively, including in areas such as North Africa, Mexico, Scandinavia, and Pennsylvania, it was not until Richard Evans Schultes began his trips into the Amazon that ethnobotany become a more well known science. However, the practice of ethnobotany is thought to have much earlier origins in the first century AD when a Greek physician by the name of Pedanius Dioscorides wrote an extensive botanical text detailing the medical and culinary properties of "over 600 mediterranean plants" named De Materia Medica. Historians note that Dioscorides wrote about traveling often throughout the Roman empire, including regions such as "Greece, Crete, Egypt, and Petra", and in doing so obtained substantial knowledge about the local plants and their useful properties. European botanical knowledge drastically expanded once the New World was discovered due to ethnobotany. This expansion in knowledge can be primarily attributed to the substantial influx of new plants from the Americas, including crops such as potatoes, peanuts, avocados, and tomatoes. One French explorer in the 16th century, Jacques Cartier, learned a cure for scurvy (a tea made from boiling the bark of the Sitka Spruce) from a local Iroquois tribe. During the medieval period, ethnobotanical studies were commonly found connected with monasticism. Notable at this time was Hildegard von Bingen. However, most botanical knowledge was kept in gardens such as physic gardens attached to hospitals and religious buildings. It was thought of in practical use terms for culinary and medical purposes and the ethnographic element was not studied as a modern anthropologist might approach ethnobotany today. Carl Linnaeus carried out in 1732 a research expedition in Scandinavia asking the Sami people about their ethnological usage of plants. The age of enlightenment saw a rise in economic botanical exploration. Alexander von Humboldt collected data from the New World, and James Cook's voyages brought back collections and information on plants from the South Pacific. At this time major botanical gardens were started, for instance the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1759. The directors of the gardens sent out gardener-botanist explorers to care for and collect plants to add to their collections. As the 18th century became the 19th, ethnobotany saw expeditions undertaken with more colonial aims rather than trade economics such as that of Lewis and Clarke which recorded both plants and the peoples encountered use of them. Edward Palmer collected material culture artifacts and botanical specimens from people in the North American West (Great Basin) and Mexico from the 1860s to the 1890s. Through all of this research, the field of "aboriginal botany" was established—the study of all forms of the vegetable world which aboriginal peoples use for food, medicine, textiles, ornaments and more. The first individual to study the emic perspective of the plant world was a German physician working in Sarajevo at the end of the 19th century: Leopold Glück. His published work on traditional medical uses of plants done by rural people in Bosnia (1896) has to be considered the first modern ethnobotanical work. Other scholars analyzed uses of plants under an indigenous/local perspective in the 20th century: Matilda Coxe Stevenson, Zuni plants (1915); Frank Cushing, Zuni foods (1920); Keewaydinoquay Peschel, Anishinaabe fungi (1998), and the team approach of Wilfred Robbins, John Peabody Harrington, and Barbara Freire-Marreco, Tewa pueblo plants (1916). In the beginning, ethonobotanical specimens and studies were not very reliable and sometimes not helpful. This is because the botanists and the anthropologists did not always collaborate in their work. The botanists focused on identifying species and how the plants were used instead of concentrating upon how plants fit into people's lives. On the other hand, anthropologists were interested in the cultural role of plants and treated other scientific aspects superficially. In the early 20th century, botanists and anthropologists better collaborated and the collection of reliable, detailed cross-disciplinary data began. Beginning in the 20th century, the field of ethnobotany experienced a shift from the raw compilation of data to a greater methodological and conceptual reorientation. This is also the beginning of academic ethnobotany. The so-called "father" of this discipline is Richard Evans Schultes, even though he did not actually coin the term "ethnobotany". Today the field of ethnobotany requires a variety of skills: botanical training for the identification and preservation of plant specimens; anthropological training to understand the cultural concepts around the perception of plants; linguistic training, at least enough to transcribe local terms and understand native morphology, syntax, and semantics. Mark Plotkin, who studied at Harvard University, the Yale School of Forestry and Tufts University, has contributed a number of books on ethnobotany. He completed a handbook for the Tirio people of Suriname detailing their medicinal plants; Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice (1994); The Shaman's Apprentice, a children's book with Lynne Cherry (1998); and Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature's Healing Secrets (2000). Plotkin was interviewed in 1998 by South American Explorer magazine, just after the release of Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice and the IMAX movie Amazonia. In the book, he stated that he saw wisdom in both traditional and Western forms of medicine: No medical system has all the answers—no shaman that I've worked with has the equivalent of a polio vaccine and no dermatologist that I've been to could cure a fungal infection as effectively (and inexpensively) as some of my Amazonian mentors. It shouldn't be the doctor versus the witch doctor. It should be the best aspects of all medical systems (ayurvedic, herbalism, homeopathic, and so on) combined in a way which makes health care more effective and more affordable for all. A great deal of information about the traditional uses of plants is still intact with tribal peoples. But the native healers are often reluctant to accurately share their knowledge to outsiders. Schultes actually apprenticed himself to an Amazonian shaman, which involves a long-term commitment and genuine relationship. In Wind in the Blood: Mayan Healing & Chinese Medicine by Garcia et al. the visiting acupuncturists were able to access levels of Mayan medicine that anthropologists could not because they had something to share in exchange. Cherokee medicine priest David Winston describes how his uncle would invent nonsense to satisfy visiting anthropologists. Another scholar, James W. Herrick, who studied under ethnologist William N. Fenton, in his work Iroquois Medical Ethnobotany (1995) with Dean R. Snow (editor), professor of Anthropology at Penn State, explains that understanding herbal medicines in traditional Iroquois cultures is rooted in a strong and ancient cosmological belief system. Their work provides perceptions and conceptions of illness and imbalances which can manifest in physical forms from benign maladies to serious diseases. It also includes a large compilation of Herrick’s field work from numerous Iroquois authorities of over 450 names, uses, and preparations of plants for various ailments. Traditional Iroquois practitioners had (and have) a sophisticated perspective on the plant world that contrast strikingly with that of modern medical science. Many instances of gender bias have occurred in ethnobotany, creating the risk of drawing erroneous conclusions. Other issues include ethical concerns regarding interactions with indigenous populations, and the International Society of Ethnobiology has created a code of ethics to guide researchers.
Jump to navigation Jump to search A germination rate experiment Plant physiology is a subdiscipline of botany concerned with the functioning, or physiology, of plants. Closely related fields include plant morphology (structure of plants), plant ecology (interactions with the environment), phytochemistry (biochemistry of plants), cell biology, genetics, biophysics and molecular biology. Fundamental processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, plant nutrition, plant hormone functions, tropisms, nastic movements, photoperiodism, photomorphogenesis, circadian rhythms, environmental stress physiology, seed germination, dormancy and stomata function and transpiration, both parts of plant water relations, are studied by plant physiologists. The field of plant physiology includes the study of all the internal activities of plants—those chemical and physical processes associated with life as they occur in plants. This includes study at many levels of scale of size and time. At the smallest scale are molecular interactions of photosynthesis and internal diffusion of water, minerals, and nutrients. At the largest scale are the processes of plant development, seasonality, dormancy, and reproductive control. Major subdisciplines of plant physiology include phytochemistry (the study of the biochemistry of plants) and phytopathology (the study of disease in plants). The scope of plant physiology as a discipline may be divided into several major areas of research. Five key areas of study within plant physiology. First, the study of phytochemistry (plant chemistry) is included within the domain of plant physiology. To function and survive, plants produce a wide array of chemical compounds not found in other organisms. Photosynthesis requires a large array of pigments, enzymes, and other compounds to function. Because they cannot move, plants must also defend themselves chemically from herbivores, pathogens and competition from other plants. They do this by producing toxins and foul-tasting or smelling chemicals. Other compounds defend plants against disease, permit survival during drought, and prepare plants for dormancy, while other compounds are used to attract pollinators or herbivores to spread ripe seeds. Secondly, plant physiology includes the study of biological and chemical processes of individual plant cells. Plant cells have a number of features that distinguish them from cells of animals, and which lead to major differences in the way that plant life behaves and responds differently from animal life. For example, plant cells have a cell wall which restricts the shape of plant cells and thereby limits the flexibility and mobility of plants. Plant cells also contain chlorophyll, a chemical compound that interacts with light in a way that enables plants to manufacture their own nutrients rather than consuming other living things as animals do. Thirdly, plant physiology deals with interactions between cells, tissues, and organs within a plant. Different cells and tissues are physically and chemically specialized to perform different functions. Roots and rhizoids function to anchor the plant and acquire minerals in the soil. Leaves catch light in order to manufacture nutrients. For both of these organs to remain living, minerals that the roots acquire must be transported to the leaves, and the nutrients manufactured in the leaves must be transported to the roots. Plants have developed a number of ways to achieve this transport, such as vascular tissue, and the functioning of the various modes of transport is studied by plant physiologists. Fourthly, plant physiologists study the ways that plants control or regulate internal functions. Like animals, plants produce chemicals called hormones which are produced in one part of the plant to signal cells in another part of the plant to respond. Many flowering plants bloom at the appropriate time because of light-sensitive compounds that respond to the length of the night, a phenomenon known as photoperiodism. The ripening of fruit and loss of leaves in the winter are controlled in part by the production of the gas ethylene by the plant. Finally, plant physiology includes the study of plant response to environmental conditions and their variation, a field known as environmental physiology. Stress from water loss, changes in air chemistry, or crowding by other plants can lead to changes in the way a plant functions. These changes may be affected by genetic, chemical, and physical factors. Latex being collected from a tapped rubber tree. Main article: Phytochemistry The chemical elements of which plants are constructed—principally carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, etc.—are the same as for all other life forms animals, fungi, bacteria and even viruses. Only the details of the molecules into which they are assembled differs. Despite this underlying similarity, plants produce a vast array of chemical compounds with unique properties which they use to cope with their environment. Pigments are used by plants to absorb or detect light, and are extracted by humans for use in dyes. Other plant products may be used for the manufacture of commercially important rubber or biofuel. Perhaps the most celebrated compounds from plants are those with pharmacological activity, such as salicylic acid from which aspirin is made, morphine, and digoxin. Drug companies spend billions of dollars each year researching plant compounds for potential medicinal benefits. Further information: Plant nutrition Plants require some nutrients, such as carbon and nitrogen, in large quantities to survive. Some nutrients are termed macronutrients, where the prefix macro- (large) refers to the quantity needed, not the size of the nutrient particles themselves. Other nutrients, called micronutrients, are required only in trace amounts for plants to remain healthy. Such micronutrients are usually absorbed as ions dissolved in water taken from the soil, though carnivorous plants acquire some of their micronutrients from captured prey. The following tables list element nutrients essential to plants. Uses within plants are generalized. Space-filling model of the chlorophyll molecule. Anthocyanin gives these pansies their dark purple pigmentation. Main article: Biological pigment Among the most important molecules for plant function are the pigments. Plant pigments include a variety of different kinds of molecules, including porphyrins, carotenoids, and anthocyanins. All biological pigments selectively absorb certain wavelengths of light while reflecting others. The light that is absorbed may be used by the plant to power chemical reactions, while the reflected wavelengths of light determine the color the pigment appears to the eye. Chlorophyll is the primary pigment in plants; it is a porphyrin that absorbs red and blue wavelengths of light while reflecting green. It is the presence and relative abundance of chlorophyll that gives plants their green color. All land plants and green algae possess two forms of this pigment: chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b. Kelps, diatoms, and other photosynthetic heterokonts contain chlorophyll c instead of b, red algae possess chlorophyll a. All chlorophylls serve as the primary means plants use to intercept light to fuel photosynthesis. Carotenoids are red, orange, or yellow tetraterpenoids. They function as accessory pigments in plants, helping to fuel photosynthesis by gathering wavelengths of light not readily absorbed by chlorophyll. The most familiar carotenoids are carotene (an orange pigment found in carrots), lutein (a yellow pigment found in fruits and vegetables), and lycopene (the red pigment responsible for the color of tomatoes). Carotenoids have been shown to act as antioxidants and to promote healthy eyesight in humans. Anthocyanins (literally "flower blue") are water-soluble flavonoid pigments that appear red to blue, according to pH. They occur in all tissues of higher plants, providing color in leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits, though not always in sufficient quantities to be noticeable. Anthocyanins are most visible in the petals of flowers, where they may make up as much as 30% of the dry weight of the tissue. They are also responsible for the purple color seen on the underside of tropical shade plants such as Tradescantia zebrina. In these plants, the anthocyanin catches light that has passed through the leaf and reflects it back towards regions bearing chlorophyll, in order to maximize the use of available light Betalains are red or yellow pigments. Like anthocyanins they are water-soluble, but unlike anthocyanins they are indole-derived compounds synthesized from tyrosine. This class of pigments is found only in the Caryophyllales (including cactus and amaranth), and never co-occur in plants with anthocyanins. Betalains are responsible for the deep red color of beets, and are used commercially as food-coloring agents. Plant physiologists are uncertain of the function that betalains have in plants which possess them, but there is some preliminary evidence that they may have fungicidal properties. A mutation that stops Arabidopsis thaliana responding to auxin causes abnormal growth (right) Plants produce hormones and other growth regulators which act to signal a physiological response in their tissues. They also produce compounds such as phytochrome that are sensitive to light and which serve to trigger growth or development in response to environmental signals. Main article: Plant hormone Plant hormones, known as plant growth regulators (PGRs) or phytohormones, are chemicals that regulate a plant's growth. According to a standard animal definition, hormones are signal molecules produced at specific locations, that occur in very low concentrations, and cause altered processes in target cells at other locations. Unlike animals, plants lack specific hormone-producing tissues or organs. Plant hormones are often not transported to other parts of the plant and production is not limited to specific locations. Plant hormones are chemicals that in small amounts promote and influence the growth, development and differentiation of cells and tissues. Hormones are vital to plant growth; affecting processes in plants from flowering to seed development, dormancy, and germination. They regulate which tissues grow upwards and which grow downwards, leaf formation and stem growth, fruit development and ripening, as well as leaf abscission and even plant death. The most important plant hormones are abscissic acid (ABA), auxins, ethylene, gibberellins, and cytokinins, though there are many other substances that serve to regulate plant physiology. Main article: Photomorphogenesis While most people know that light is important for photosynthesis in plants, few realize that plant sensitivity to light plays a role in the control of plant structural development (morphogenesis). The use of light to control structural development is called photomorphogenesis, and is dependent upon the presence of specialized photoreceptors, which are chemical pigments capable of absorbing specific wavelengths of light. Plants use four kinds of photoreceptors: phytochrome, cryptochrome, a UV-B photoreceptor, and protochlorophyllide a. The first two of these, phytochrome and cryptochrome, are photoreceptor proteins, complex molecular structures formed by joining a protein with a light-sensitive pigment. Cryptochrome is also known as the UV-A photoreceptor, because it absorbs ultraviolet light in the long wave "A" region. The UV-B receptor is one or more compounds not yet identified with certainty, though some evidence suggests carotene or riboflavin as candidates. Protochlorophyllide a, as its name suggests, is a chemical precursor of chlorophyll. The most studied of the photoreceptors in plants is phytochrome. It is sensitive to light in the red and far-red region of the visible spectrum. Many flowering plants use it to regulate the time of flowering based on the length of day and night (photoperiodism) and to set circadian rhythms. It also regulates other responses including the germination of seeds, elongation of seedlings, the size, shape and number of leaves, the synthesis of chlorophyll, and the straightening of the epicotyl or hypocotyl hook of dicot seedlings. The poinsettia is a short-day plant, requiring two months of long nights prior to blooming. Main article: Photoperiodism Many flowering plants use the pigment phytochrome to sense seasonal changes in day length, which they take as signals to flower. This sensitivity to day length is termed photoperiodism. Broadly speaking, flowering plants can be classified as long day plants, short day plants, or day neutral plants, depending on their particular response to changes in day length. Long day plants require a certain minimum length of daylight to starts flowering, so these plants flower in the spring or summer. Conversely, short day plants flower when the length of daylight falls below a certain critical level. Day neutral plants do not initiate flowering based on photoperiodism, though some may use temperature sensitivity (vernalization) instead. Although a short day plant cannot flower during the long days of summer, it is not actually the period of light exposure that limits flowering. Rather, a short day plant requires a minimal length of uninterrupted darkness in each 24-hour period (a short daylength) before floral development can begin. It has been determined experimentally that a short day plant (long night) does not flower if a flash of phytochrome activating light is used on the plant during the night. Plants make use of the phytochrome system to sense day length or photoperiod. This fact is utilized by florists and greenhouse gardeners to control and even induce flowering out of season, such as the Poinsettia. Phototropism in Arabidopsis thaliana is regulated by blue to UV light. Main article: Ecophysiology Paradoxically, the subdiscipline of environmental physiology is on the one hand a recent field of study in plant ecology and on the other hand one of the oldest. Environmental physiology is the preferred name of the subdiscipline among plant physiologists, but it goes by a number of other names in the applied sciences. It is roughly synonymous with ecophysiology, crop ecology, horticulture and agronomy. The particular name applied to the subdiscipline is specific to the viewpoint and goals of research. Whatever name is applied, it deals with the ways in which plants respond to their environment and so overlaps with the field of ecology. Environmental physiologists examine plant response to physical factors such as radiation (including light and ultraviolet radiation), temperature, fire, and wind. Of particular importance are water relations (which can be measured with the Pressure bomb) and the stress of drought or inundation, exchange of gases with the atmosphere, as well as the cycling of nutrients such as nitrogen and carbon. Environmental physiologists also examine plant response to biological factors. This includes not only negative interactions, such as competition, herbivory, disease and parasitism, but also positive interactions, such as mutualism and pollination. Main articles: Tropism and Nastic movement Plants may respond both to directional and non-directional stimuli. A response to a directional stimulus, such as gravity or sunlight, is called a tropism. A response to a nondirectional stimulus, such as temperature or humidity, is a nastic movement. Tropisms in plants are the result of differential cell growth, in which the cells on one side of the plant elongates more than those on the other side, causing the part to bend toward the side with less growth. Among the common tropisms seen in plants is phototropism, the bending of the plant toward a source of light. Phototropism allows the plant to maximize light exposure in plants which require additional light for photosynthesis, or to minimize it in plants subjected to intense light and heat. Geotropism allows the roots of a plant to determine the direction of gravity and grow downwards. Tropisms generally result from an interaction between the environment and production of one or more plant hormones. Nastic movements results from differential cell growth (e.g. epinasty and hiponasty), or from changes in turgor pressure within plant tissues (e.g., nyctinasty), which may occur rapidly. A familiar example is thigmonasty (response to touch) in the Venus fly trap, a carnivorous plant. The traps consist of modified leaf blades which bear sensitive trigger hairs. When the hairs are touched by an insect or other animal, the leaf folds shut. This mechanism allows the plant to trap and digest small insects for additional nutrients. Although the trap is rapidly shut by changes in internal cell pressures, the leaf must grow slowly to reset for a second opportunity to trap insects. Powdery mildew on crop leaves Main article: Phytopathology Economically, one of the most important areas of research in environmental physiology is that of phytopathology, the study of diseases in plants and the manner in which plants resist or cope with infection. Plant are susceptible to the same kinds of disease organisms as animals, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi, as well as physical invasion by insects and roundworms. Because the biology of plants differs with animals, their symptoms and responses are quite different. In some cases, a plant can simply shed infected leaves or flowers to prevent the spread of disease, in a process called abscission. Most animals do not have this option as a means of controlling disease. Plant diseases organisms themselves also differ from those causing disease in animals because plants cannot usually spread infection through casual physical contact. Plant pathogens tend to spread via spores or are carried by animal vectors. One of the most important advances in the control of plant disease was the discovery of Bordeaux mixture in the nineteenth century. The mixture is the first known fungicide and is a combination of copper sulfate and lime. Application of the mixture served to inhibit the growth of downy mildew that threatened to seriously damage the French wine industry. Further information: History of botany Jan Baptist van Helmont. Sir Francis Bacon published one of the first plant physiology experiments in 1627 in the book, Sylva Sylvarum. Bacon grew several terrestrial plants, including a rose, in water and concluded that soil was only needed to keep the plant upright. Jan Baptist van Helmont published what is considered the first quantitative experiment in plant physiology in 1648. He grew a willow tree for five years in a pot containing 200 pounds of oven-dry soil. The soil lost just two ounces of dry weight and van Helmont concluded that plants get all their weight from water, not soil. In 1699, John Woodward published experiments on growth of spearmint in different sources of water. He found that plants grew much better in water with soil added than in distilled water. Stephen Hales is considered the Father of Plant Physiology for the many experiments in the 1727 book; though Julius von Sachs unified the pieces of plant physiology and put them together as a discipline. His Lehrbuch der Botanik was the plant physiology bible of its time. Researchers discovered in the 1800s that plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water. In natural conditions, soil acts as a mineral nutrient reservoir but the soil itself is not essential to plant growth. When the mineral nutrients in the soil are dissolved in water, plant roots absorb nutrients readily, soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive. This observation is the basis for hydroponics, the growing of plants in a water solution rather than soil, which has become a standard technique in biological research, teaching lab exercises, crop production and as a hobby. One of the leading journals in the field is Plant Physiology, started in 1926. All its back issues are available online for free. Many other journals often carry plant physiology articles, including Physiologia Plantarum, Journal of Experimental Botany, American Journal of Botany, Annals of Botany, Journal of Plant Nutrition and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Further information: Agriculture and Horticulture In horticulture and agriculture along with food science, plant physiology is an important topic relating to fruits, vegetables, and other consumable parts of plants. Topics studied include: climatic requirements, fruit drop, nutrition, ripening, fruit set. The production of food crops also hinges on the study of plant physiology covering such topics as optimal planting and harvesting times and post harvest storage of plant products for human consumption and the production of secondary products like drugs and cosmetics.
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