By Alan Graham
The paleoecological historical past of the Americas is as advanced because the zone is huge: stretching from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, the hot international positive aspects probably the most outstanding plants on this planet. yet in the past it has lacked a whole traditional background. Alan Graham treatments that with A common background of the recent global. With vegetation as his clinical muse, Graham strains the evolution of ecosystems, starting within the past due Cretaceous interval (about a hundred million years in the past) and finishing within the current, charting their responses to alterations in geology and weather. by way of highlighting plant groups’ roles within the environmental background of the Americas, Graham deals an past due stability to typical histories that attention solely on animals. vegetation are very important in evolution’s greatest drama. not just are they conspicuous and with ease desk bound elements of the Earth’s ecosystems, yet their large fossil list allows an intensive reconstruction of the planet’s paleoenvironments. What’s extra, crops offer oxygen, functionality as nutrients and gas, and supply habitat and guard; briefly, theirs is a historical past that could converse to many different components of evolution. A common historical past of the hot international is an bold and extraordinary synthesis written by means of one of many world’s best students of botany and geology.
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Extra info for A Natural History of the New World: The Ecology and Evolution of Plants in the Americas
In a twist of fate with great political and economic consequences, the United States Congress met on 9 May 1902 to choose between the ﬁnal candidates of Nicaragua and Panama. The day before, on 8 May, Mt. Pelée on the Lesser Antilles island of Martinique erupted, and with the devastation so vividly evident, the more quiescent Panama was selected as the safer route. Just north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is the Sierra Madre del Sur. These mountains probably originated as an offshore island arc and were added onto the mainland in the Late Cretaceous.
As the warm air rises it cools, the water condenses and falls as rain. Thus, many parts of the equatorial regions are characterized by warm temperatures, low pressure systems (rising air), high rainfall, low evapotranspiration, and tropical rain forest. The cooled air descends at about 30°N and 30°S as a mountainous column of water-depleted air that warms as it approaches the Earth’s surface. Thus, midlatitudes are often characterized by high pressure systems (descending air), low rainfall, fewer clouds, high temperatures, strong winds, high evapotranspiration, and desert vegetation.
By the mid-Eocene at 45 Ma, the margin of the sea ran from south of Laredo / Nuevo Laredo northward to just east of Austin, Texas, up the Mississippi Embayment to about Cairo, Illinois, around the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains, and northward along the eastern edge of the mountains. 10 Diagram of the northern North American continent during the Middle to Late Cretaceous showing the epicontinental sea and the Aquilapollenites and Normapolles provinces. Numbers represent prominent fossil ﬂoras outlining the margin of the sea: (1) McNairy, (2) Lower Atanekerdluk, (3) Vermejo, (4) Raton, (5) Denver, (6) Laramie, (7) Patterson, (8) Hell Creek–Lance (Colgate), (9) Scollard, Horseshoe Canyon, (10) Coalspur, (11) Prince Creek (Coville River site).
A Natural History of the New World: The Ecology and Evolution of Plants in the Americas by Alan Graham