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View Full Version : Is This How Flowering Plants Came to Dominate?



Tuckerfan
2009-Jul-15, 07:15 AM
Their own leaf litter provided the medium in which they were able to spread. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713211621.htm)
But at some locations where the gymnosperms had temporarily disappeared, for example due to floods, fires or storms, the angiosperms could increase so that they were capable of improving their own conditions with their easily degradable litter.

According to the theory of Berendse and Scheffer, this led to positive feedback; as a result, the flowering plants could increase even more rapidly and were capable of replacing the angiosperms in much of the world.That's the meat of the piece, but there's other details at the link. It fits in with the theory that life in earlier periods of time made changes to the environment to create conditions more favorable to other life forms.

mugaliens
2009-Jul-15, 07:40 AM
Their own leaf litter provided the medium in which they were able to spread. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713211621.htm)That's the meat of the piece, but there's other details at the link. It fits in with the theory that life in earlier periods of time made changes to the environment to create conditions more favorable to other life forms.

But isn't that what we humans do? We recreate our environments so as to be more sustainable for ourselves?

jlhredshift
2009-Jul-15, 11:57 AM
But isn't that what we humans do? We recreate our environments so as to be more sustainable for ourselves?

Yes, we grow wheat.

Gillianren
2009-Jul-15, 05:02 PM
Regardless of the cost, even to ourselves.

thoth II
2009-Jul-15, 05:17 PM
It would probably be impossible to predict human impacts on the environment. Some geologists think the "holocene" is really an extension of the "pleistocene" epoch, in the sense that an ice age is predicted for the future that may freeze the Hudson river. Others argue that human influence warrants a distinct and separate epoch, the "holocene" beginning with the rise of large human populations , and probably hunting down of many pleistocene mammals.

One million years from now, another distinct epoch may be designated based on effects from human civilization, maybe the "technocene epoch". I don't think computer modeling will answer the details of what this will involve.

korjik
2009-Jul-15, 06:04 PM
It would probably be impossible to predict human impacts on the environment. Some geologists think the "holocene" is really an extension of the "pleistocene" epoch, in the sense that an ice age is predicted for the future that may freeze the Hudson river. Others argue that human influence warrants a distinct and separate epoch, the "holocene" beginning with the rise of large human populations , and probably hunting down of many pleistocene mammals.

One million years from now, another distinct epoch may be designated based on effects from human civilization, maybe the "technocene epoch". I don't think computer modeling will answer the details of what this will involve.

Human impact is not all that hard to predict on the local scale. We do have a couple thousand years of data to look at what happens.

dwnielsen
2009-Jul-15, 07:01 PM
It would probably be impossible to predict human impacts on the environment. Some geologists think the "holocene" is really an extension of the "pleistocene" epoch, in the sense that an ice age is predicted for the future that may freeze the Hudson river. Others argue that human influence warrants a distinct and separate epoch, the "holocene" beginning with the rise of large human populations , and probably hunting down of many pleistocene mammals.

One million years from now, another distinct epoch may be designated based on effects from human civilization, maybe the "technocene epoch". I don't think computer modeling will answer the details of what this will involve.

I don't know about that. I'll bet if we built a giant supercomputer across the globe, cleared the rainforest to help it monitor the Earth's surface, and filled the oceans with a toxic dye to help the computer see what the effects are - we'd know.

Gillianren
2009-Jul-15, 08:15 PM
And got rid of all those pesky butterflies!

Tuckerfan
2009-Jul-17, 08:55 AM
If only there was a really large laboratory, with which we could conduct experiments in, that had fewer variables than you get when trying to model the Earth. Oh, look, there's Mars! ;)