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:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, ... partnership that will provide end customers with a more ... payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) ... financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part in ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016 ... "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their ... ) , ,The global gait biometrics market ... 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. Gait ... which can be used to compute factors that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , ... compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced ... granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food ... gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin ... to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 A person commits a crime, and ... to track the criminal down. An outbreak of ... Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a ... of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. ... microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that asks ... systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at the ... York City . The teams, chosen ... MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. Keynote ... of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee , ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: