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"You don’t have to be a gardener, a farmer, or a biologist to know how much we all rely on plants. We use plants for food, shelter, clothing, medicines and they provide even the air we breathe. "[1]


Homo sapiens have been dependent on trees and plants ever since the beginning of their species.





1. Shelter



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Not only are trees a great resource for making our own homes, as the timber coming from trees, is used in the construction of many of our homes, but they are also a shelter for animals. In the tropics, trees can provide shelter to almost 1000 species! It has been estimated that, in Australia, 42 per cent of mammals, 28 per cent of frogs, 28 per cent of reptiles and 17 per cent of birds are dependent on tree hollows.[2]

Trees are important for shelter not only for humans but for other species, and since every species has its own place in a food chain and ecosystem, trees create enormous genetic variability.











2. Medecine


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There is much evidence that Aloe Vera extracts may be useful in skin treatment. This includes the healing of minor skin infections, cysts, diabetes and burn healing.
In History, native Americans have used more than 2,000 wild plants for medicine. Today one quarter of all prescribed drugs still have plant origins.[3]

Aloe vera is an example of a medicinal plant ; it is frequently used in herbal medicine.[4] There is scientific evidence that it has soothing, moisturizing, and healing properties due to antibacterial and antifungal activities.[5] When eaten, it can soothe digestive problems, such as heart burn and irritable bowel syndrome.[6] It is thought that these curing traits are here thanks to the presence of compounds in the succulent plant, such as anthraquinones, polysaccharides, and lectins.[7] Aloe vera gel is put into foods such as desserts, yogurts and beverages, and is also used in shampoos and lotions.

Another plant that is considered to have high medical benefits is the artichoke. The antioxidant capacity in the artichoke is the highest out of all the vegetables.[8] This means that they prevent oxidation to the body. They reduce agents such as Artichokes contain the chemical Cynarin, which increases bile flow.








3. Inspiration



Photosynthesis is a chemical process that happens in plants, converting carbon dioxide and water into sugar and oxygen through sunlight.[9] We give plants carbon dioxide by exhaling, as well as they give us the oxygen we need to inhale. Without plants, it would be difficult for any aerobic organism to survive, including humans! Plants are the basis of ecosystems and purify air and water.[10]

With every breath we take, we depend on the oxygen that is given off by plants. Plants also are part of the water cycle. 90% or more of the water that is absorbed a plant’s roots, is eventually released back to the atmosphere.
[11]
Oxygen is the most important reason why humans rely on plants; without plants, humans as well as every other aerobic organism, would cease to exist.








4. Food


Vitamin C helps wounds heal. It can be obtained through fresh fruits and green vegetables.
Vitamin C helps wounds heal. It can be obtained through fresh fruits and green vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables have been the source of food for herbivores and omnivores such as humans for thousands of years.[12] Plants are the foundation of most food webs on Earth. Even carnivorous animals need plants because their prey are plant eaters.
When humans or other animals eat meat, they gain energy from the plant that the animal that the meat comes from has eaten. (Or the animal before that.) The energy which the plant has received from the sun travels up the food chain, giving energy to every species on the way.
Humans today rely on fruits and vegetables to get this energy faster then they would by eating meat. They also contain many vitamins which are impossible to get from eating meat. Vitamin C for example, helps wounds heal. Lack of vitamin C can cause ilness and disease such as scurvy, a disease where the gums in the mouth bleed easily and wounds will not heal.[13] There are more than 20,000 species of edible plants in the world but fewer than 20 species now provide 90% of the food we eat.[14] This is an indicator of how much humans really do depend on plants.






5. Energy


external image peatcoal.gifWith a new generation that is so dependent on technology, humans need energy. Coal is the world's most plentiful fossil fuel. Canada is ranked tenth in the world in total proven coal reserves.[15] The coal and fossil fuels that humans use for energy are actually the product of plants. However these plants lived long ago. Over 350 million years ago, ancient relatives of ferns and horsetails called "peat", died and eventually were covered in sediment. This process is called " carbonization."[16] During carbonization, peat goes through several changes as a result of bacterial decay, compaction, heat, and time.[17] There is a huge amount of squeezing and water loss that had to happen to finally form coal, but as a result, humans now have a huge energy producer. This is not the only source of energy we must thank plants for. Oil and gas also come from the same origin. They are pumped from deep under ground where there are compressed plants from long ago. This means that humans have plants to thank for not only their personal electronic devices at home, lights needed to see at night. But they must also thank plants for transportation. Because without plants, cars, buses, and even planes, would not be able to move.















  1. ^
    "Earthplatform.com - Why Do We Need Plants." Earthplatform.com - Earth Platform - Environment Search Engine.
  2. ^
    "Introduction - Global Challenge - LibGuides Home at The Geelong College." Home - LibGuides Home at The Geelong College.
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    "Earthplatform.com - Why Do We Need Plants." Earthplatform.com - Earth Platform - Environment Search Engine.
  4. ^
    Ernst E (November 2000). "Adverse effects of herbal drugs in dermatology". The British journal of dermatology 143
  5. ^ Boudreau MD, Beland FA (April 2006). "An evaluation of the biological and toxicological properties of Aloe barbadensis (Miller), Aloe vera". Journal of environmental science and health. Part C, Environmental carcinogenesis & ecotoxicology reviews 24
  6. ^ King GK, Yates KM, Greenlee PG, et al. (1995). "The effect of Acemannan Immunostimulant in combination with surgery and radiation therapy on spontaneous canine and feline fibrosarcomas". Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 31
  7. ^ Eshun K, He Q (2004). "Aloe vera: a valuable ingredient for the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries--a review". Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 44
  8. ^
    Ceccarelli N., Curadi M., Picciarelli P., Martelloni L., Sbrana C., Giovannetti M. "Globe artichoke as a functional food" Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
  9. ^
    Smith, A. L. (1997). Oxford dictionary of biochemistry and molecular biology. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. p. 508. "Photosynthesis – the synthesis by organisms of organic chemical compounds, esp. carbohydrates, from carbon dioxide using energy obtained from light rather than the oxidation of chemical compounds."
  10. ^


    "Earthplatform.com - Why Do We Need Plants." Earthplatform.com - Earth Platform - Environment Search Engine.
  11. ^
    "Earthplatform.com - Why Do We Need Plants." Earthplatform.com - Earth Platform - Environment Search Engine.
  12. ^
    "Earthplatform.com - Why Do We Need Plants." Earthplatform.com - Earth Platform - Environment Search Engine.
  13. ^
    Lynne Goebel, MD. "Scurvy Clinical Presentation"
  14. ^ "Edible Uses." http://www.pfaf.org/user/edibleuses.aspx.
  15. ^
    World coal consumption 1980-2006 October 2008 EIA statistics
  16. ^
    Taylor, Thomas N; Taylor, Edith L; Krings, Michael (2009).Paleobotany: The biology and evolution of fossil plants
  17. ^ Taylor, Thomas N; Taylor, Edith L; Krings, Michael (2009).Paleobotany: The biology and evolution of fossil plants