Plants provide us with food, fiber, shelter, medicine, and fuel. The basic food for all organisms is produced by green plants. In the process of food production, oxygen is released. This oxygen, which we obtain from the air we breathe, is essential to life. The only source of food and oxygen are plants; no animal alone can supply these. Shelter, in the form of wood for houses; and clothing, in the form of cotton fibers, are obvious uses of plant materials. But we must not forget fuel, furniture, paper products, certain medicines like aspirin, and many other products like perfume and chewing gum. To these tangible aspects of the plant world we must also add the importance of beauty and relaxation derived from plants. Since animals are surrounded by and dependent upon plants, the factors that influence plant growth, structure, and distribution, affect the animal world as well.
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