Botany 422 - Plant Geography


A course in systematics/taxonomy or ecology is helpful but not needed


Lecture 9:55 - 10:45 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, 346 Birge; lecture schedule


Ken Sytsma, 250 Birge Hall, 262-4490 - Lecture

office hour: after class or by appointment

 Jeff Rose, 258 Birge, 262-4422 - TA

office hour: Wednesday 11-12 noon or by appointment

Textbook - Optional only (most required readings at Learn@UW - see below - will come from this text). The book is expensive ($90-120) but can be rented at Amazon for $25.

Lomolino, M.V., Riddle, B.R., R.J. Whittaker, Brown, J.H. Biogeography, 4th ed. 2010. Sinauer Associates


Fri., Feb. 17 (in class); Wed., Mar. 29 (in class); Tue., May 9 at 5:05 pm final exam time- no cumulative final


There will be three exams during the semester with no cumulative final. The exams will be multiple choice, short answer and may include a one-page essay. Take home portions of each exam are possible. They will cover lecture, lab/greenhouse tours, and reading materials.

The other major source of your grade (worth one exam) will be from your term paper or project (the latter for more advanced students and required for graduate students - please talk to us if you are interested). It is too early to give details about the term paper or project and more information will be presented later. The term paper or project will be due Friday, April 28.


Lecture powerpoint pdfs will be available via the course webpage, and you may want to have them prior to each class and insert them into the 3 ring binder.


The optional text cover most of the topics on which I will be lecturing, so many of the readings will come from the 4th edition of Biogeography - this text on reserve in the Steenbock Library. The text is fairly well written and understandable even if you do not have a strong natural history course background. Selected readings that you should cover will be highlighted and made available via Learn@UW. Other primary literature readings from other sources will be available electronically, via Learn@UW.

Labs, Greenhouse Tours, and FieldTrips:

Three times during the semester, you will take a self-guided "Greenhouse Tour" (including virtual tour) that will allow you to actually see plant examples of what we are learning in lecture. An optional half to full day field trip to a southern mesic forest and dry prairie in southern Wisconsin will be given on Saturday, April 29. We will see plants that will have been discussed at length during class.

Taking Notes:

Attend lecture - it is the best way to understand the material. You will be graded on attendance.

Concentrate on the major points of the lecture. Do not get swamped in the details that are just used for illustration. Lecture pdfs will be available via the course webpage, and you may want to have them prior to each class.

I will hand out a review sheet about 10 days before each exam period that lists the terms, concepts, etc. with which you should be becoming familiar.

Many (most) of the plants discussed will not be familiar to you, but that is not the problem you might think it to be.You do not need to have a strong backgound in botany or ecology to be successful in this class.