HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
How trees changed the world

Before 380 million years (Ma) ago, the continents had only patches of mosses and algae with no tree cover. The effect of the evolution of trees (large vascular plants with deep, extensive roots) changed the world for ever, according to Dr Robert Berner (Yale University). He presents his findings at Earth Systems Processes, a multidisciplinary meeting in Edinburgh, UK, hosted jointly by the Geological Society of London (GSL) and the Geological Society of America (GSA).

The first trees soaked up nutrients from rocks at a rate never before seen. This enhanced the weathering of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) silicate minerals, which in turn removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as Ca and Mg became locked together with carbonate ions in lime-rich sediments in the worlds oceans. The removal of CO2 from the atmosphere by this method and by increased photosynthesis (fixation) led to atmospheric CO2 stabilising at lower levels than the world had known for most of its previous 4200Ma history.

Trees also produced, for the first time, large amounts of lignin - the major constituent of wood. Resistant to decay, this substance led to increased amounts of organic carbon being buried with sediments, representing a large excess of global photosynthesis (carbon fixation) over global respiration (carbon oxidation). As atmospheric carbon dioxide was progressively reduced and photosynthesis reached unprecedented levels, the atmosphere became extremely rich in oxygen much richer than the air we know today.

Oxygen-enriched air was directly responsible for the evolution of very large insects - much larger than could live in todays relatively oxygen-poor air (insects rely upon more or less passive diffusion of O2 into their tissues, so large bodies become impossible at lower concentrations).

As well as the formation of huge coal deposits well known from Upper Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) rocks worldwide, this radical shift in the Carbon Cycle also low
'"/>

Contact: Ann Cairns
acairns@geosociety.org
303-447-2020 x1156
Geological Society of America
26-Jun-2001


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Study: Emission of smog ingredients from trees is increasing rapidly
2. Plumbing trees plumbing reveals their engineering skill
3. An exotic grass kills trees by hijacking their water
4. Duke study disputes idea that trees can relocate quickly in response to climate change
5. Limited climate tracking in European trees despite 10,000 years of postglacial warmth
6. Newfound grasshopper takes to the trees on Konza Prairie
7. Chestnut trees to spread across landscape again, says Purdue scientist
8. Brood X cicadas will cause limited damage to trees, yard plants across eastern U.S.
9. Seeing the forest for the trees: The future of environmental policy lies in interaction
10. Armies of fighting fungi protect chocolate trees
11. Science paper: Overharvesting of Brazil nuts leading to fewer trees

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... to their offering. ... eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during ... Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis ... and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... 6, 2017 Forecasts by Product ... Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public ... & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business ... Are you looking for a definitive report on ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS The ... at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period ... primary factor for the growth of the stem cell ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market ... and geography. The stem cell market of the product ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... , ... A colony of healthy honey bees is like a superorganism--individual bees ... nectar containing nutrients necessary for growth and survival. Better nutrition gives the colony a ... to a decline in honey bee health. Sick and weakened bees diminish the colony's ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... Cambridge Semantics , the leading ... Smart Data Lake® (Anzo SDL) solution was named a finalist in the ... Information Industry Association (SIIA) CODiE Awards. , Finalists represent the best products, ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... New resistant ... new options for managing Palmer amaranth and other broadleaf weeds resistant to glyphosate. ... are necessary. Auxin herbicides are known to drift and to cause harm to ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... The ... an artist’s journey through creative experimentation and interdisciplinary collaboration. Feature Creep, a solo ... 22nd. An opening reception will be held at EKG, located at 3600 Market ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: