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Why study early land plants?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Helen Scott.

Recent interest in global environmental change has stimulated interest on those in the past, not the least the influence of phytoterrestrialisation. These were the plants that changed the face of the planet—its biosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere. To date it has been the vascular plants that have dominated research. Yet these were not the earliest land colonisers. It remains an enormous frustration that we know relatively little about land vegetation in Ordovician and Silurian times before the advent of vascular plants when the record is based principally on spores. Our recent investigations on very small charcoalified fossils with in situ spores are beginning to reveal the nature and relationships of these plants, and will be the focus of the talk.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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