Tree roots caused mass extinctions of the past -- like humans today?
A new study finds tree roots to be the unexpected culprit in the series of mass extinctions that took place during the Devonian Period over 350 million years ago, wiping out up to 75% of all species on Earth.
Published in the Geological Society of America Bulletin, the study was led by Gabriel Filippelli, Professor of Earth Sciences in the School of Science at Indiana University, and Ph.D. and included scientists from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom. The researchers performed chemical analysis of stone deposits in ancient lake beds, taken from sites in Greenland and off the northeast coast of Scotland, looking at fluctuations in the levels of phosphorus, a key chemical element for all life on the planet.
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