Liverworts, not moss, dominated Earth's early terrestrial ecosystems

Moss, the springy green plant that blankets forest floors, has been heralded as the generator of large amounts of oxygen to Earth’s atmosphere during the Paleozoic. In a new study, however, researchers suggest that it could have been the overlooked relative of moss — liverworts — that dominated early terrestrial ecosystems and thus had more to do with reducing high carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere at the time and cooling climate globally.

 

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Bethany Augliere

Bethany Augliere

Augliere is a freelance writer and photographer and a former editorial intern with EARTH. She is a graduate of the science communication program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and holds a master’s degree in marine biology from Florida Atlantic University. For more of her work visit http://www.bethanyaugliere.com.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 - 06:00