From Microscopic Pioneers to Land Plants: Unveiling the role of microscopic terrestrial algae in the transformation of Earth’s landscapes

Science / Life Sciences

The colonization of dry land is a pivotal event in the evolutionary history of life on Earth. It led to the evolution of the most complex known life forms on land, including mammals, birds, and flowering plants. Terrestrial life also created some of the most diverse and ecologically intricate communities, such as tropical rainforest ecosystems. Despite the immense scientific significance of understanding how life colonized dry land, our knowledge about the process and its timeline remains limited. Unanswered questions pertain to the nature of the first terrestrial ecological communities, the origin of biologically active soils, and the emergence of terrestrial plants that eventually led to the formation of present-day and ancestral forests. Our research addresses some of these questions, specifically focusing on how soils originated during the colonization of dry land by photosynthesizing microorganisms. We are also experimentally testing a new theory about the origin of land plants from simple terrestrial charophyte algae.

Amount invested

R$ 96,000.00
  • Topics
  • Ecological communities
  • Origin of plants
  • Tropical rainforests