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Thread: Plant life evolution

  1. #1 Plant life evolution 
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    A lot of times when we discuss evolution, we discuss biological evolution and often exclude plant evolution/life. A few months ago I was watching a documentary about Earth and I re-call that one of the comments the narrator made was that the emergence of grass was the single most important thing for life to emerge. And, grass emerged among the plains as a singular event/occurring at once.. That triggered a thought.

    How did this happen? How did the grass grains scatter all throughout the Earth in a singular event? Is anyone here into plant life evolution? And please, don't say god did it.


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  3. #2  
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    grass emerged among the plains as a singular event/occurring at once.
    is inaccurate


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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    grass emerged among the plains as a singular event/occurring at once.
    is inaccurate
    That's what the narrator said. I can't confirm or rebuke because I don't know enough about the subject matter. Would you care to elaborate then?
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tau Ceti View Post
    ...one of the comments the narrator made was that the emergence of grass was the single most important thing for life to emerge.
    surely you're not trying to correlate the (relatively late) arrival of grasses on the evolutionary scene with the emergence of life ?
    grasses are now thought to have arisen in the mid cretaceous roundabout 100 million years ago, but did not become more widespread until 50 million years
    as for the spread of grasslands that only got into its proper stride in the late Oligocene to early Miocene

    sure, for the present ecosystems grasslands are an important component of various ecosystems, but that was not the case in the days of the dinosaur - you know when the BBC made the series "Walking with dinosaurs" that their greatest problem was to find landscapes where grasses were either absent or otherwise not too prevalent (so that they could at least be air-brushed out digitally)

    so your statement is misleading and at the very least incomplete : whereas grasses are now widespread and ecologically very important, in geological terms that's only a recent development
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    I'm not trying to be mis-leading or provide false information; I'm searching myself for what's accurate. I'm just re-stating what the documentary said.

    Let me re-phrase my question more specifically. How did plant life arise? We have a theory for biological life but what about plant life.
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  7. #6  
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    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    How did so many different species of tree evolve?

    What individual ecological niche could each one be adapted for?
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    What individual ecological niche could each one be adapted for?
    Who knows what goes on under the top of various soils with their different assemblages of rocks, moulds, minerals, bacteria, viruses, worms, beetles, and all those other critters?
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    What individual ecological niche could each one be adapted for?
    Who knows what goes on under the top of various soils with their different assemblages of rocks, moulds, minerals, bacteria, viruses, worms, beetles, and all those other critters?
    Gosh. Root ecology never even occurred to me.
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  11. #10  
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    Indeed and nitrogen-fixing bacteria and nutrient releasing fungi relationships with plants being critically important.
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  12. #11  
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    Not exactly on topic, but not completely OT either. My husband just sent me this TED talk.

    Hyperbolic geometry - evolution - coral - lettuce - crochet! - kindergarten. How are they linked?

    Margaret Wertheim: The beautiful math of coral | Video on TED.com
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Pick out a good BIOLOGY video on youtube. It should cover most of the things you were asking about. Grass and plants are important in that they help out the atmosphere.
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    We have trees in NZ which flowers in spring, and if there is massive blooms in spring they sat it will be a long hot summer. Now I don't particularly know if the it is a verified fact but it is certainly mentioned, but it fascinates me how the tree knows months in advance what the summer is going to do!

    http://homepaddock.wordpress.com/tag/cabbage-tree/
    http://www.nznativeplants.co.nz/Articles/Cordyline+australis.html

    I]Papers Past — Wanganui Chronicle — 9 October 1913 —
    f [/URL]it was true what would the cabbage tree be sensing?

    Trees in Australia have evolved to face bush fires. Essential part of seed germination in some cases.
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  15. #14  
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    Robitty, the tree does not know the future, however the same weather pattern that encourages a heavy spring bloom might also produce a hotter than normal summer .
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    A seed takes root

    begins to extend up from the ground, produces leaves and follows the sunlight.

    It is almost a maternal connection. The plant reaching its leaves toward the sunlight. Like its reaching to it's mama. And when the sunlight moves away during the seasons, the plant is left all alone. And it's leaves wilt and fall off.

    It almost makes you want to cry.
    Well I don't cry.
    Its a stupid plant.

    But then again I'm not that much into horticulture.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tau Ceti View Post
    I'm not trying to be mis-leading or provide false information; I'm searching myself for what's accurate. I'm just re-stating what the documentary said.
    Always be wary of so called "documentaries."
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Robitty, the tree does not know the future, however the same weather pattern that encourages a heavy spring bloom might also produce a hotter than normal summer .
    So you can predict summer weather way back in spring? I'll look into it.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Pixel View Post
    A seed takes root

    begins to extend up from the ground, produces leaves and follows the sunlight.

    It is almost a maternal connection. The plant reaching its leaves toward the sunlight. Like its reaching to it's mama. And when the sunlight moves away during the seasons, the plant is left all alone. And it's leaves wilt and fall off.

    It almost makes you want to cry.
    Well I don't cry.
    Its a stupid plant.

    But then again I'm not that much into horticulture.
    Another witless post from a witless troll
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  20. #19  
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    A seed takes root

    begins to extend up from the ground, produces leaves and follows the sunlight. ...

    But then again I'm not that much into horticulture.
    Well, I'm a gardener, if not "into horticulture" - and that's not a very good description of how plants grow or how one might feel about observing the process.

    Seeing the plant form and strengthen and trying to get an impression of how the roots are spreading - or how deep they're going - it all depends on the kind of plant and its individual characteristics. And growing potatoes is not like growing avocados or grapes or roses or olives or plane trees or pansies. Know what you're doing and concentrate on what's important - soil, water, sunlight, more or less in that order.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  21. #20  
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    Grasses have evolved relatively recently....it is an angiosperm ( flowering plant). Plants emerged multiple times longer ago than grasses. Confers, ferns, cycads, etc. all predate grasses by a few hundred million years.
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  22. #21  
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    Slightly off topic, but trees. Trees are AWESOME. Trees manage to do what would seem impossible. Getting water to such heights within themselves. Pretty amazing. Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BickMFHAZR0
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