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News From the Field

New Research Changes Understanding of C4 Plant Evolution


November 15, 2010

David Nelson A new analysis of fossilized grass-pollen grains deposited on ancient European lake and sea bottoms 16-35 million years ago, reveals that C4 grasses evolved earlier than previously thought. This new evidence casts doubt on the widely held belief that the rise of this incredibly productive group of plants was driven by a large drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations during the Oligocene epoch. Full Story

Source
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

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