Rabu, 08 Juli 2009

Wildfires, Evolution, and Ecosystems

Fires set by the forces of nature have existed on the Earth since the dawn of time, and as a result some plants have evolved to survive fires rather well. A few plants even require an occasional fire in order to release their seeds. But here’s an interesting notion; did certain plants evolve to encourage the spread of wildfires once they’ve started? After all, if the plant could survive the fire it might be a good way to kill off the competition. For those of you interested in evolutionary processes, see the recent well-referenced opinion article in the New York Times.

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