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Succulent plants waited for cool, dry Earth to make their mark
Date:5/3/2011

ation would therefore immediately expand the ecological space in which drought-adapted succulent plants, with their high photosynthetic water use efficiency, would be competitive," the authors write.

"We suggest that a rapid expansion of available habitat (rather than any particular new 'key' innovation) during the late Miocene was a primary driver of the global diversification of plant lineages already possessing a preadapted succulent syndrome," the researchers write. "Against a backdrop of increasing global aridity, a sharp CO2 decline is a plausible driver of the simultaneous expansion of C4 grasslands, the clustering of new C4 origins, and the diversification of succulent lineages."


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Contact: Richard Lewis
Richard_Lewis@brown.edu
401-863-3766
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

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