Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Yale Researchers Attribute Ancient High Levels Of Oxygen In The Atmosphere To The Rise Of Trees And Large Plants

Date:
March 8, 2000
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
A new method of calculating oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere suggests that an increase more than 300 million years ago was caused by the rise and spread of trees and other vascular land plants, a Yale study finds.

New Haven, Conn.. -- A new method of calculating oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere suggests that an increase more than 300 million years ago was caused by the rise and spread of trees and other vascular land plants, a Yale study finds.

The new plant life produced dead organic matter resistant to decomposition by bacteria that was buried in sediments, and, as a result, extra oxygen was added to the atmosphere by increased global photosynthesis, according to Robert A. Berner, the Alan M. Bateman Professor of Geology and Geophysics at Yale.

"The rise of large vascular land plants had a significant effect on atmospheric composition, both oxygen and carbon dioxide," said Berner.

The higher concentrations of oxygen lasted for 100 million years and were significantly higher than the Earth's current oxygen content of 21 percent. Published in the March 3 issue of Science, the study shows that the calculated high oxygen levels during this period verify earlier independent estimates and that this high oxygen may have been an important factor in affecting the evolution of giant insects.

The study's theoretical calculations rest partly on experimental work on land plant growth at the University of Sheffield in England by David Beerling and his associates and on marine plankton growth at the University of Hawaii by a team led by Edward Laws and Brian Popp.

"As a result of these experiments, we were better able to calculate realistic changes in atmospheric oxygen over geologic time," Berner said.

In addition to Berner, Beerling, Laws and Popp, the study's team included former Yale graduate student, Steven T. Petsch, and J. A. Lake, W.P. Quick, and F.I. Woodward from the University of Sheffield in England; and R.S. Lane, M.B. Westley and N. Cassar from the University of Hawaii.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Yale Researchers Attribute Ancient High Levels Of Oxygen In The Atmosphere To The Rise Of Trees And Large Plants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000308081611.htm>.
Yale University. (2000, March 8). Yale Researchers Attribute Ancient High Levels Of Oxygen In The Atmosphere To The Rise Of Trees And Large Plants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000308081611.htm
Yale University. "Yale Researchers Attribute Ancient High Levels Of Oxygen In The Atmosphere To The Rise Of Trees And Large Plants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000308081611.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Super Healthful Fruits and Vegetables: Which Are Best?

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) We all know that it is important to eat our fruits and vegetables but do you know which ones are the best for you? Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Bad Memories Turn Good In Weird Mouse Brain Study

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) MIT researchers were able to change whether bad memories in mice made them anxious by flicking an emotional switch in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Do Couples Who Smoke Weed Together Stay Together?

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A study out of University at Buffalo claims couples who smoke marijuana are less likely to experience intimate partner violence. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Panda Might Have Faked Pregnancy To Get Special Treatment

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) A panda in China showed pregnancy symptoms that disappeared after two months of observation. One theory: Her pseudopregnancy was a ploy for perks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins