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May 12, 2018

Project Fossil Atmospheres and Ginkgo leaves

Project Fossil Atmospheres

The project Fossil Atmospheres is about how the cells of leaves on ginkgos have changed over time, and to learn more about the ancient atmosphere of the Earth.

The first species of Ginkgo evolved in the Permian, before the dinosaurs, survived three mass extinctions, and one species is still living today. It is an ideal plant to study because it can provide a record from 300 million years ago through to the present. 

By comparing the stomata of fossilized and modern ginkgo leaves, researchers and citizen scientists hope to understand how ginkgo leaves have already changed and how they may change in the future. There have been many different species of Ginkgo, but they all belong to one genus and the leaves are recognizably similar in all the different species.

Fossil Atmospheres is a Smithsonian Institution citizen science project from the National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Also involved are citizen scientists in the process of collecting stomatal index measurements with the Zooniverse platform.

This ginkgo grove at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland, is part of the experiment.
15 Ginkgo biloba trees are growing in open-topped chambers in natural field conditions, under modern & futuristic CO2: 400, 600, 800 and 1000 ppm.

Video by SmithsonianSERC on YouTube.

Read more:
Fossil Atmosphere blog
My website: History- and Fossils-pages.

Visit my website The Ginkgo Pages.

May 05, 2018

Butterflies on Ginkgo leaves

Wei Tianxin, a college student in East China's Shandong province, paints colorful butterflies on Ginkgo leaves.

She paints on leaves to enable more people to know about the wonderful insect world and raise their awareness to protect animals.

More large photos here.


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