What plants reveal about the climate of previous eras

Some ancient plants will not survive climate change

With some plants, you can already see how they are experiencing the drought of a changing climate, but our short-term observation window barely allows us to make any predictions. Sadowski hopes it will surprise us how well plant species can adapt to new conditions. However, critical survival chances can sometimes be read from distribution patterns derived from ancient plants. For example with falciparum fir, which is native to eastern Asia today (Cryptomeria)which was even present in the Baltic amber forest, as evidenced by the inclusions.

The cryptomeria Today it is found exclusively in mixed evergreen and rainforests. The wet conditions prevailing there were already crucial in the geological past of Japanese cedar, as the inclusion of fossil finds and climate data shows: “We know from paleoecology that these special climatic conditions are essential for the survival of this plant. But if climatic conditions change now, such as becoming drier, Is it possible that cryptomeria So it will not work wellresearcher says. «Weitere Stressfaktoren wie Abholzung dürfte dieser einen Art, die auch nur zwei Varietäten und somit einen eingeschränkteren Genpool hat, geringere Überlebenschancen einräumen.« So wünscht sich Sadowski auch für andere Pflanzenfamilien und Gattungen eine Art historisches Profil, um die zukünftige Anpassungsfähigkeit insgesamt besser einschätzen zu ability.

Sadowski and Luthardt seek a deeper understanding of the ecosystems of Earth’s history—they both have this in common, though their methods, fossils, and geological ages differ. They collect evidence of a complex system, because ecosystems can be understood as a place of interaction between three spheres: the geosphere (i.e. soil), the biosphere, and the atmosphere. “All three aspects of Earth’s history have changed dramatically, and it is our job to better understand these changes,” Luthhardt explains.

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The motive for the ancient discipline of vegetation has also changed radically, as Lothardt notes: “Parental botany used to have a raison d’être to extract coal from the earth, that is, to improve the development of coal deposits. However, the focus today is on the ability to better categorize the outcomes of coal mining in the general context of Earth’s climate. Sadovsky uses ancient botany to try to teach others how long it took for evolution to get to where we are now. “We humans are just a blink of an eye in the history of the Earth and we are still destroying in a few hundred years what took millions of years to form. This should actually teach us a little bit of humility.

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