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Physiology

Exploring the fern vascular system from past to present

One of the most important innovations in land plant evolution was the development of a vascular system (the set of tubes that moves water and nutrients through the body). These conducting tissues amplified mass flow rates by orders of magnitude, allowing plants to increase their photosynthetic capacity, grow larger, and alter aspects of the terrestrial ecosystem including carbon dioxide sequestration and increased oxygenation, in turn, profoundly affecting the course of evolution for life on land.

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