Preview Workflow

Viewing: PB 400 : Plant Diversity and Evolution

Last approved: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 21:00:02 GMT

Last edit: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 21:00:00 GMT

Catalog Pages referencing this course
Change Type
PB (Plant Biology)
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
Plant Diversity and Evolution
Plant Diversity and Evolution
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Plant Biology (11PB)
Term Offering
Spring Only
Offered Alternate Even Years
Spring 2016
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
James Mickle

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Prerequisite: BIO 181 or PB 200 or PB 250

Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
11PBBSPlant BiologyElective
15NATREBSNatural ResourcesElective
17BIOSCBSBiological SciencesElective
Diversity, morphology, taxonomy, and evolutionary history of living and fossil plants including fungi, algae, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. Two one-day weekend field trips required.

Course Content

PB 400, under its current format as Plant Structure and Diversity includes approximately six weeks of plant anatomy and eight weeks of plant morphology/diversity.  This reflected the needs of the Department at the time of the last revision of this course in 2000.  At that time, courses in neither plant anatomy nor plant diversity were being taught, and there were not sufficient faculty resources to teach both courses.  As a result, the topics of plant anatomy and plant diversity were combined into the present course, Plant Structure and Diversity.  However, PB 413, Plant Anatomy, is now being consistently and successfully taught in the department, thus there is no longer a need to have a separate and significant plant anatomy component in PB 400.  It is proposed that the plant anatomy portion be curtailed and that the plant diversity portion of PB 400 be expanded to encompass the entire course.  This will allow greater attention to plant morphology/diversity in the course and the Plant Biology curriculum. 

Course Title

The changes in content would be reflected in the course title.  The proposed title “Plant Diversity and Evolution” would more accurately reflect the course content.  Concomitant with the study of diversity is the study of plant phylogeny.  A significant portion of the course would include the plant fossil record, which reflects the phylogenetic history the plant kingdom. 

Catalog Description

The proposed catalog description incorporates the changes in content and removes the references to plant anatomy. 

Learning Outcomes

The course learning outcomes have been updated to more accurately reflect the new course content. 

Removal from the GEP Natural Sciences List

PB 400 is redundant on the Natural Sciences list.  Students are required to take PB 200, PB 250, or BIO 181 as a prerequisite for PB 400.  Each of these prerequisites are on the GEP Natural Sciences list, and the vast majority of students taking PB 400 would fulfill their Natural Sciences GEP requirement with other courses.  Because few, if any, students would need to fulfill the GEP Natural Sciences requirement using PB 400, there seems little reason for it to remain on the list.


Is this a GEP Course?
GEP Categories

Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:


Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.






US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.








Requisites and Scheduling
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.

b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?

List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.

List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)

Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
Title and author of any required text or publications.

Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.

List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.

College(s)Contact NameStatement Summary
College of Natural ResourcesGary BlankPB 400 is an elective course for curricula offered through the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. Dr. Blank's response to the changes were: "I see no issues that would affect our retaining the course as a viable one for our students to elect. "
College of SciencesJane LubischerPB 400 is also electives lists in the Biological Sciences curricula. Jane Lubischer's response about the revisions were: "I can't identify any concerns about the proposed changes.". Dr. Lubischer suggested that a we "...incorporate a learning outcome related to students using the intellectual standards of critical thinking...". We may revise the course learning outcomes at a later time to do so.
It is anticipated that resources to teach this course will be available from departmental funds. PB 400 will be part of the faculty member's regular teach load.

The objectives of this course are to:

1. use physical evidence (from living specimens and fossil remains) to distinguish between major plant groups. 

2. compare and contrast the evolutionary lineages of the major extant plant taxa.

3. demonstrate how plants evolved specific life cycle characteristics and how these characteristics are different from those of other organisms.

4. provide students with hands-on training in lab and field methods and techniques in plant biology.

Student Learning Outcomes

As a result of taking PB 400 students will be able to:

1. describe the taxonomy, complexity, diversity, reproduction and characteristics of the major living and fossil plant groups, including algae, fungi, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperms, within a phylogenetic context.

2. diagram, discuss and distinguish among the major plant lineages.

3. identify the three major plant life cycles and explain how these life cycles are related to one another.

4. demonstrate field and laboratory techniques used in studying plants.

Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Multiple exams300ptsThree in-term exams at 100pts each.
Final Exam150ptsThe final exam is comprehensive.
Lab Report100ptsStudents will maintain a laboratory notebook that will be graded at the end of the semester.
Lab assignments50ptsThere will be project activities associated with each lab.
presentation50ptsStudents will review of the primary literature on a topic in plant diversity and evolution and present this review in a short oral presentation during the course lab. Topics will be chosen under the guidance of the course instructor.
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Introduction & General Characteristics1.5 weeksLectures: Introduction, general morphological characteristics

Lab: Safety, Microscopy
Algae and Fungi3.5 weeksLectures: Photosynthetic Prokaryotes, Red Algae, Green Algae, Brown and Related Algae, Fungi

Labs: Algae I and II, Fungi I and II
Bryophytes and Pteridophytes4 weeksLectures: Bryophytes, Early Land Plants, Lycopods, Ferns (extinct forms), Ferns (marrattialeans), Ferns (ophioglossoids), Ferns (filicaleans)

Labs: Bryophytes, Early Land Plants & Lycopods, Ferns I and II
Gymnosperms2 weeksLectures: Gymnosperms (extinct), Cycads, Ginkgophytes and Gnetophytes, Coniferophytes

Labs: Fossil Peel Technique, Gymnosperms I and II, Field Trip to Hanson Clay Pit
Angiosperms2 weeksLectures: Angiosperms (origins), Basal Angiosperm Groups, Eudicots, Monocots

Labs: Angiosperms I and II, Field Trip to NC Botanical Gardens

Key: 672