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:
TAG: How trees changed the world

(Date:10/30/2014)... October 2014 Biological membranes are mainly composed of ... of solution ions onto lipid membranes helps clarify ... study provides a quantitative description of the equilibria ... Kotyńska and Zbigniew Figaszewski from the University of ... describing these findings, just published in EPJ ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... Beaverton, OR) New research presented at the ... in Houston, TX showed for the first time ... in women using a readily available nutritional supplement, ... by Dr. Judith A. Smith, Pharm.D., associate professor ... Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... all the rage. Thousands of scientists worldwide are conducting ... titanium dioxide nanoparticles from sun creams can get through ... from electronic products are as hazardous for the lungs ... food can get into the blood via the intestinal ... are flowing – and the number of scientific projects ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Ion adsorption matter in biology 2HPV infections in women eradicated by AHCC, Japanese mushroom extract 2Nanosafety research: The quest for the gold standard 2Nanosafety research: The quest for the gold standard 3
(Date:10/26/2014)... (PRWEB) October 26, 2014 The ... Routers, ADC, Network Security Equipment, WAN Optimization Appliances]: ... and segments the data center networking market into ... of revenues. The report also identifies the factors ... opportunities impacting it along with the future roadmaps. ...
(Date:10/25/2014)... 25, 2014 The report “Adipic ... by Geography - Global Trends & Forecast to ... respect to market drivers, opportunities, and trends in ... and 27 figures spread through 217 slides and ... Trends & Forecast to 2019”., http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/adipic-acid-269.html , ...
(Date:10/25/2014)... BioProcess International (BPI), a business-to-business ... BioProcess International Awards. The awards celebrate the outstanding ... technology applications that will allow the industry to ... patient base. , Winners and finalists were honored ... entertaining and exciting awards dinner and ceremony yesterday ...
(Date:10/25/2014)... Iowa (PRWEB) October 24, 2014 ... Perdue plans to more than double the acreage ... in geographies supplying its soybean crush facility in ... from this program will target several markets including ... alternatives with good performance. , For the 2015 ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Data Center Networking Market by Ethernet Switches, SAN & Routers Worth $21.85 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Data Center Networking Market by Ethernet Switches, SAN & Routers Worth $21.85 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Data Center Networking Market by Ethernet Switches, SAN & Routers Worth $21.85 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Adipic Acid Market Estimated to Grow $7,539.2 Million by 2019 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Adipic Acid Market Estimated to Grow $7,539.2 Million by 2019 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Adipic Acid Market Estimated to Grow $7,539.2 Million by 2019 - Report by MarketsandMarkets 4BioProcess International Announces Winners of the 2014 BioProcess International Awards 2BioProcess International Announces Winners of the 2014 BioProcess International Awards 3BioProcess International Announces Winners of the 2014 BioProcess International Awards 4BioProcess International Announces Winners of the 2014 BioProcess International Awards 5DuPont Pioneer, Perdue AgriBusiness Announce Plans to Double Acreage for the 2015 Plenish® High Oleic Soybean Program 2DuPont Pioneer, Perdue AgriBusiness Announce Plans to Double Acreage for the 2015 Plenish® High Oleic Soybean Program 3DuPont Pioneer, Perdue AgriBusiness Announce Plans to Double Acreage for the 2015 Plenish® High Oleic Soybean Program 4
Cached News: