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Plants and Society, 3/e
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Stimulating Beverages

Concept Quizzes


Caffeine belongs to a group of compounds called alkaloids, which act as stimulants to the central nervous system of animals.

Caffeine is produced only by plants, yet is has profound effects upon the nervous system of animals. Speculate as to why plants, which do not possess a nervous system, have evolved to produce neurologically active compounds such as caffeine.

Coffee cultivation has followed an interesting path, from Ethiopia to the East Indies to Central and South America.

What major crops have gone in the opposite direction, from a South American origin to dominance in other parts of the world?