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Title: CO2 decline and the rise of the angiosperms
Author: Lee, Alexandra P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 9841
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2016
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The angiosperms (flowering plants) occupy almost every habitat type on Earth and comprise nearly 90% of extant plant species. Yet this dominance is a relatively recent (geological) occurrence as they have a late evolutionary origin (-140 Ma). The Cretaceous angiosperm radiation to dominance temporally coincides with a time of atmospheric CO2 ([CO2]) decline and detrimentally impacted pteridophyte and cycad diversity in the understorey and gymnosperm diversity in the canopy. The first objective of this thesis was to investigate [CO2] decline as a trigger for the rise of the angiosperms. Six species were grown at modern ambient and three elevated levels of [CO2] (800, 1200 and 2000 ppm), which corresponded to Cretaceous concentrations. The comparative ability of these species to acclimate physiologically, morphologically and biochemically were used as a model for Cretaceous plant groups. Ranunculus acrls and Polypodium vulgare, were chosen to represent Cretaceous understorey angiosperms and pteridophytes respectively. Liquidambar styraciflua and Laurus nobills represented canopy angiosperms and Ginkgo biloba and Metasequoia glyptostroboides canopy gymnosperms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available