To understand how mass extinctions and associated climate change have impacted specific ecosystems,
It turned out that plant communities in this areaand ecosystems have changed. The number of aquatic plants has decreased, the number of terrestrial plants, including trees such as birches and elms, on the contrary, has increased. Researchers speculate that this growth was due to the disappearance of large plant-eating dinosaurs. In addition, scientists found changes in the nature of rainfall during the extinction - they were relatively minor and short-lived.
“Many scientists predicted that with a globalWith warming, changes in rainfall will greatly affect people and ecosystems, explains Peter Douglas, senior author of the study. “At other times of major climatic change in Earth's history, we find evidence of such changes. The lack of such a signal during the most recent mass extinction is very intriguing. "
Douglas adds:“Surprisingly, scientists know more about what happened in the oceans at the end of the Cretaceous extinction period than on land. By clarifying the ecological changes during this period, we narrowed down the factors that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. This study is also an important analogue of environmental change caused by human activities, and will allow better predicting the likelihood and details of future mass extinctions. ”
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