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A new study of a 400 million year old plant fossil from a geographical setting in Scotland sheds light on the evolution of the form of ancient roots.
The study, published in eLife magazine last week, claims that the evolution of the roots of the first plants greatly affected our planet and our atmosphere, leading to environmental and climate change.
Experts say the evolution of plants from simple stems to more complex rooted forms has had a major impact on the planet. Plant roots reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, settle in the soil, and revolutionize the circulation of water on the surface of continents.
In this study, scientists at the University of Oxford developed a 3-D reconstruction of the Devonian Astroxylone Macy’s based on fossil evidence about 400 million years ago.
Researchers have unearthed a type of flint preserved near the village of Rhine in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, which represents the most structurally complex ancient plant from the region and has developed roots and other types of molds.
The results show that the roots of Asteroxylon mackiei developed in a fundamentally different way from contemporary plants. They are propagated by a process called dual branching, in which the tip of the leaf branch divides to form two new branches, one of which forms two branches and the other a rhizome.
In today’s plants, new roots emerge from within the growing buds or roots.
Experts say the discovery shows the hitherto invisible evolution of ancient plants.
Liam Dolan, lead author of a study at the Gregor Mental Institute, said in a statement: “These are primitive structures similar to modern roots, and we now know how they came to be.
Dr. Dolan added: “Living plants do not have roots that grow this way, which means that this mechanism of root formation is now extinct.”
Understanding the structure and evolution of the astroxylon magi could provide insight into events at a crucial time in Earth’s history, and then the plants began to colonize the arid surfaces of the continents and spread throughout the land, the researchers said.

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Its growth, radiation, and spread across all continents had a significant impact on the Earth’s structure. Alexander J. Hetherington, associate professor at the University of Edinburgh, said in a statement that plant roots had reduced carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, stabilized soils and revolutionized water circulation across continental surfaces.

Dr. Heatherington added: “One of the key questions in plant evolution is how plants with roots and leaf shoots evolved from simple stems into complex shapes. Lets.These mysterious plants.It was great to finally see the previously hidden details.
Source: Independent

Stuart Wagner
Stuart Wagner
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