Carboniferous and Permian lecture notes.doc

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24 Mar 2012
Carboniferous and Permian
Slide 2:
-as we head into the carboniferous, the continental plates are making a big transition
-plates are starting to amass together in one location
-this amassment creates a linking of landmasses into 1 giant landmass by the end
of the Permian
-continents are shifting on the surface and have come back together
-animals and plants become uniformly distributed across landmass when it is
-as the landmass pulls apart toward the end of the Permian, there is speciation
Slide 5:
Carboniferous Aquatic Environment
-even though there is a mass extinction at the end of the Devonian (from the anoxia, the
chill, the decrease in CO2 etc.) most of the ocean organisms are still there in terms of the
phyla (i.e.: radula, shells, cartilaginous skeletons etc.)
-morphologically, organisms don't look like their ancestors but there is no major change
in the phylum architectures
Slide 6:
Carboniferous Terrestrial Environment
-there are no changes occurring on land
-end Devonian mass extinction has no effect on terrestrial environment
-plants are diversifying on land
Slide 7:
Carboniferous Coal Forests
-many of the plants that survive are massive at this time
-no major seed plants
-plants are using spores at this time and are still successful
-there was no recycling of plant material because they were so successful
-plants were fossilized because there was no organism to feed on them or recycle
-during the Carboniferous, there is a large amount of plants and a large amount of carbon
dioxide that becomes fixed into plant material and fossilizes it
-the carbon cycle of the planet is disrupted at this time
-carbon material is being locked in the fossilized plants instead of being recycled
and regenerated
-plants are pulling out CO2 and are pumping out large amounts of oxygen
-oxygen content of the atmosphere rises above 30% because of the amount of
-carbon that is broken out of the cycle is now being burned as coal and being
restored into the atmosphere
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-plants include large club mosses, giant horse tails, and tree ferns
Slide 8:
Evolutionary Trend in Plant Lifecycles
-plants are improved by the addition of a new type of reproduction
-gametophyte is becoming internalized into the sporophyte part of the lifecycle
-originally, the 2 were equally contributing
-when we first generate seeds, the gametophyte is being housed in the sporophyte
Slide 9:
Phylogeny of Plants
-vascular tissue is perfected
-addition of seed to the lifecycle
Slide 10:
Evolution of Plant Vascular Tissues
-tracheids had an internal lignin supported structure (secondary cell wall) that was
attached end to end with pores in between
-fluid can now move in between
-previously, the surface between cells was not completely open; there was a cellulose
layer that covers the tracheids
-now, complete openings between cells will develop during this time period
-a conduit develops from the very bottom of the plant to the tops of the plant
Slide 11:
Lignin Wall
1) Hydrophobic
-aromatic rings that make up lignin walls are hydrophobic
-important for repelling water throughout the entire secondary cell wall
-primary cell wall is wet-able
-lignin creates a non-stick lining from the bottom to the top of the plant
-this allows liquid to be pulled without resistance within the vessels (no chemical,
ionic interaction between the water and the vessel); creates a perfect lining for
transporting liquids
2) Indigestible
-gives the plant strength; plant can resist gravity
-every fibre in the plant is rigid and act as reinforcing bars
-fibres continuously grow and old fibres are replaced but remain intact for structural
-old fibres are not digested but are replaced with new lignin systems
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-early on, there were no decomposers that were able to break down the lignin material
when plants died
3) Bacterial and Fungal Lignases
-bacteria and fungi will figure out how to break down lignin and there will be no more
mass accumulation of plant fossils anymore
4) Toxic
-aromatic rings found in lignin material makes it slightly toxic
-if bacteria were to get into the inner plant fluid that is circulating, the fluid is kept sterile
-vascular and support system becomes perfected
Slide 12:
Spores verses Seeds
-if you looked at a spore, you would not be able to tell whether it is going to be a male or
female gametophyte
-gametophytes are identical until it undergoes the meiotic event to differentiate the
gametangia on the surface of the gametophyte and to produce sperm or eggs
-instead of producing a huge amount of spores and releasing them into the environment
and relying on moisture and wind to get sperm to eggs, seeds start to develop
-seeds represent the heterosporous condition
-1 of the spores becomes large (i.e.: megaspore) which is formed in a megasporangium
and is provisioned with nutrients and stays in place on the female part of the sporophyte
-gamete is formed inside the sporophyte
-microspores form in a microsporangium and becomes mobile
-microspore move as pollen in a waterproof package through different
mechanisms to find the female egg sitting in the archegonium of the female
Slide 13:
-the embryo of the seed is an embryonic sporophyte
-embryo is placed in a protective case and is provided with nutrients from the mother
plant so that when it germinates, it has food reserve ready
-the seed becomes something that develops in the female part of the plant
-the archegonia has an egg in it
-egg is fertilized
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