Plant functional types

The concept of categorizing plants into broad groups has a long history, beginning with Aristotle's disciple and successor Theophrastus of Erosos (c. 370—285 BC) who grouped terrestrial plants into three categories: trees, herbs and vines.

This process of categorization has continued with ever-increasing inventiveness, particularly in modern times, as some degree of rationalization is necessary,

Fig. 3.19 The arctic poppy (Papaver radicatum). This specimen is growing at sea level at Mesters Vig (Greenland 73° N). The species also holds the second highest altitude flowering plant record for Greenland at 2450 m (Halliday, 2002).

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