Plants have colonised and modified the World's surface for the last 400 million years. In this book the authors demonstrate that an understanding of the role of vegetation in the terrestrial carbon cycle during this time can be gained by linking the key mechanistic elements of present day vegetation processes to models of the global climate during different geological eras. The resulting interactive simulations of climate and vegetation processes tie in with observable geological data, such as the distributions of coals and evaporites, supporting the validity of the authors' approach. Simulation of possible conditions in future centuries are also presented, providing valuable predictions of the status of the Earth's vegetation and carbon cycle at a time of global warming.

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