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The Origins of C4 Grasslands: Integrating Evolutionary and Ecosystem Science

April 30, 2010

The evolution of the C4 photosynthetic pathway from the ancestral C3 pathway in grasses led to the establishment of grasslands in warm climates during the Late Miocene (8 to 3 million years ago). This was a major event in plant evolutionary history, and their high rates of foliage production sustained high levels of herbivore consumption. The past decade has seen significant advances in understanding C4 grassland ecosystem ecology, and now a wealth of data on the geological history of these ecosystems has accumulated and the phylogeny of grasses is much better known. Edwards et al. (p. 587) review this multidisciplinary research area and attempt to synthesize emerging knowledge about the evolution of grass species within the context of plant and ecosystem ecology.

Publication Year 2010
Title The Origins of C4 Grasslands: Integrating Evolutionary and Ecosystem Science
DOI 10.1126/science.1177216
Authors Erika J. Edwards, Colin P. Osborne, Caroline A. E. Strömberg, Stephen A. Smith, William J. Bond, Pascal-Antoine Christin, Asaph B. Cousins, Melvin R. Duvall, David L. Fox, Robert P. Freckleton, Oula Ghannoum, James Hartwell, Yongsong Huang, Christine M. Janis, Jon E. Keeley, Elizabeth A. Kellogg, Alan K. Knapp, Andrew D.B. Leakey, David Mcgovern Nelson, Jeffery M. Saarela, Rowan F. Sage, Osvaldo E. Sala, Nicolas Salamin, Christopher J. Still, Brett Tipple
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science
Index ID 70236357
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse