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Relationship Between Human and Plants

From the very early times, human beings have co-existed with plants which played a vital role in their survival. Though a long process of trial and error, our ancestors have selected hundreds of wild plants from the various parts of the world for their specific use. The knowledge of the plants and its applications have led to the development of the humans and their civilization in many ways.

People depend on plants for food, clean air, water, fuel, clothing, and shelter. Nearly all food webs begin with plants, the primary producers. During photosynthesis, green plants use sunlight to change carbon dioxide from the air and water into simple sugars made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

Plants such as trees, on the other hand, can take in this carbon dioxide, which is unusable for humans, and use it to produce their own energy. In a way, they are a cycle – plants help humans breathe by providing us with oxygen, and humans help plants “breathe” by providing them with carbon dioxide.

There are numerous examples of symbiosis in agriculture. Agriculture in a broad sense involves a symbiotic relationship between humans and plants or animals. Humans plant, fertilize, control weeds and pests, and protect crops. Humans also nurture, feed, and protect livestock.

Humans, of course, benefit greatly from their mutualisms with agricultural plants, through the provision of crops of food, fiber, and other products. Similarly, agricultural animals live in a symbiotic mutualism with humans. Even the keeping of animals as pets represents a type of mutualism.

An exploration of the relationship between plants and people from early agriculture to modern-day applications of biotechnology in crop production. Plants and People: Origin and Development of Human-Plant Science Relationships covers the development of agricultural sciences from Roman times through the development of agricultural experiment stations in the United States.

To the rise of agri-business. It underscores the symbiotic relationship and mutuality that define the intertwined histories of plants and people. It does not merely present the latest science but puts the sciences themselves in the context of history.

The book provides the science, chronology, and history that undergird the relationships between humans and plants. It discusses plant anatomy, physiology, and reproduction; evolution of plants and people; early uses of plants; the rise of agriculture in both Old and New Worlds; creation of land grant universities and agricultural experiment stations; the Green Revolution; plant biotechnology; and the future of plant sciences in feeding the growing human population.

The agricultural sciences were not a product of the nineteenth century but of the careful observation and advice of Roman writers who lived some 2000 years ago. This book reveals the malleability of the sciences, the people who practice them, and the plants that are the focus of scientific research.

The author is careful to distinguish between basic and applied science while recognizing that the agricultural sciences pursue both. He also challenges the traditional notion that basic research necessarily yields practical results. The book demonstrates how plants and the agricultural sciences have shaped the everyday world we inhabit.