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Plants and Society, 3/e
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Plant Systematics and Evolution

Concept Quizzes


Darwin identified four conditions that are necessary if evolution is to occur: genetic variation, overproduction of offspring, competition for limited resources, and reproduction of the fittest.

Imagine a plant population that reproduces entirely by asexual methods, such as spreading by rhizomes. Although there are many individual plants in the population, they are essentially a single plant genetically; that is, they are clones. Can natural selection act on a population of clones? Is this population capable of evolving? Explain.

Natural selection favors the survivorship of those individuals in a population that possess characteristics crucial for survival.

You observe that the dandelions growing in a regularly mowed lawn have shorter stems than those in an abandoned field. Explain the different selective forces at work in these two different environments.