Archives par mot-clé : Plants

Fossils suggest flowers originated 50 million years earlier than thought

by eLife, December 18, 2018 in ScienceDaily

Scientists have described a fossil plant species that suggests flowers bloomed in the Early Jurassic, more than 174 million years ago, according to new research in the open-access journal eLife.

Before now, angiosperms (flowering plants) were thought to have a history of no more than 130 million years. The discovery of the novel flower species, which the study authors named Nanjinganthus dendrostyla, throws widely accepted theories of plant evolution into question, by suggesting that they existed around 50 million years earlier. Nanjinganthus also has a variety of ‘unexpected’ characteristics according to almost all of these theories.

A new but unbelievable climate proxy – plant leaf wax

by University of Birmingham, March 2, 2018, in WUWT

As the Earth’s surface and atmosphere warm, the amount of moisture – water vapour – in the atmosphere will increase. Understanding the size of this increase is important for predicting future climates as water vapour is a significant greenhouse gas. Atmospheric moisture content also influences the patterns and intensity of rainfall events.

The relationship between temperature and moisture content can be explored by the study of intervals in Earth’s history when climates where significantly warmer than those seen in modern times, which necessitates a method for estimating ancient atmospheric moisture content.

Plants colonized Earth 100 million years earlier than previously thought

by Bristol University, February 19, 2019 in ScienceDaily

A new study on the timescale of plant evolution has concluded that the first plants to colonize the Earth originated around 500 million years ago — 100 million years earlier than previously thought.

For the first four billion years of Earth’s history, our planet’s continents would have been devoid of all life except microbes.

Study: plants are globally getting more efficient thanks to rising carbon dioxide

by University of California, September 12, 2017 in WUWT

A trend toward greater discrimination under higher CO2 levels is broadly consistent with tree ring studies over the past century, with field and chamber experiments, and with geological records of C3 plants at times of altered atmospheric CO2, but increasing discrimination has not previously been included in studies of long-term atmospheric 13C/12C measurements. We further show that the inferred discrimination increase of 0.014 ± 0.007‰ ppm−1 is largely explained by photorespiratory and mesophyll effects.