Warm spell spurred tropical biodiversity

Number of plant species rose along with atmospheric carbon dioxide

By Alexandra Witze, 14:11 PM November 11, 2010

Some like it hot, including the plants living in South America’s tropical rain forests 56 million years ago.

As global average temperatures spiked 5 degrees Celsius over a period of 10,000 years — a geologic blink of an eye — plant diversity in northern South America also soared, researchers report in the Nov. 12 Science.

“We were expecting to find rapid extinction, a total change in the forest,” says study leader Carlos Jaramillo, a biologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/warm-spell-spurred-tropical-biodiversity