Almond Short Response

Response Questions:1) What made some plants easier to domesticate than others?Some plants have special adaptations that make it possible for their own seeds to disperse via wind, water, and other options. For plants without these capabilities, it becomes important that they use host bodies to move their seeds to other areas for dispersion. Therefore, it is easier to domesticate the plants that need the help of animals to disperse, including those that need to pass through the digestive systems before germinating.

2) How do plants disperse seeds in the wild?Plants disperse seeds in the wild via a number of different methods. For some plant species, dispersal only requires the help of floating water and air movement through the wind. For others, there is a need to include help from animals due to the nature of their seeds. For the latter, an animal is tricked into carrying these seeds. The plant wraps the seeds in sweet smelling and sweet tasting cover to trick an animal into eating and dispersing the seeds. Seeds are spat out or defecated some place far from the parent tree, thus creating seed dispersal in a way that is as efficient as for the first category of plants.3) What characteristics did humans value as they domesticated plants?

In their quest to domesticate plants, humans used noticeable and other characteristics. Noticeable characteristics include the size of a fruit, its sweetness or bitterness levels, oiliness, fleshiness, and the length of its fibers. Other characteristics employed include the mechanisms of seed dispersal, reproductive biology, and germination inhibition. 4) How do domesticated plants vary from their wild ancestors?Domesticated plants are different from their wild ancestors in a number of ways. First, the selection by human farmers has led to the dominance of some types that were not traditionally as available then as they are today. Additionally, plants selecting themselves through natural selection has led to changes to the dominant features of a plant. Due to domestication, some plants have bigger fruits compared to their ancestors. Others have evolved to be bitter as a way of increasing their chance of survival. Another main difference is the level of poisonous chemicals available in a fruit or a seed. This has been a special adaptation to enhance survival. Lastly, the germination inhibition characteristics of many plants are different from their wild ancestors.5) What were the three stages of crop development?The three stages of crop development were domestication of Fertile Crescent crops such as wheat and barley and peas, then the first fruit and nut trees (olives, figs, dates, pomegranates, and grapes), and fruit trees that proved much harder to cultivate such as apples, pears, plums, and cherries.6) Why were oak trees too difficult to cultivate?

The first reason is that their slow growth would exhaust the patience of most farmers. Second, oak trees evolved to make nuts of a size and taste suitable for squirrels. Lastly, squirrels were better at dispersing Oak seeds than humans.