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The impact of fire on the Late Paleozoic Earth system.

Glasspool IJ, Scott AC, Waltham D, Pronina N, Shao L - Front Plant Sci (2015)

Bottom Line: At higher levels of p(O2), increased fire activity would have rendered vegetation with high-moisture contents more susceptible to ignition and would have facilitated continued combustion.These findings are based upon analyses of charcoal volumes in multiple coals distributed across the globe and deposited during this time period, and that were then compared with similarly diverse modern peats and Cenozoic lignites and coals.Herein, we examine the environmental and ecological factors that would have impacted fire activity and we conclude that of these factors p(O2) played the largest role in promoting fires in Late Paleozoic peat-forming environments and, by inference, ecosystems generally, when compared with their prevalence in the modern world.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geology, Colby College Waterville, ME, USA ; Science and Education, Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, IL, USA.

ABSTRACT
Analyses of bulk petrographic data indicate that during the Late Paleozoic wildfires were more prevalent than at present. We propose that the development of fire systems through this interval was controlled predominantly by the elevated atmospheric oxygen concentration (p(O2)) that mass balance models predict prevailed. At higher levels of p(O2), increased fire activity would have rendered vegetation with high-moisture contents more susceptible to ignition and would have facilitated continued combustion. We argue that coal petrographic data indicate that p(O2) rather than global temperatures or climate, resulted in the increased levels of wildfire activity observed during the Late Paleozoic and can, therefore, be used to predict it. These findings are based upon analyses of charcoal volumes in multiple coals distributed across the globe and deposited during this time period, and that were then compared with similarly diverse modern peats and Cenozoic lignites and coals. Herein, we examine the environmental and ecological factors that would have impacted fire activity and we conclude that of these factors p(O2) played the largest role in promoting fires in Late Paleozoic peat-forming environments and, by inference, ecosystems generally, when compared with their prevalence in the modern world.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Inertinite to p(O2) calibration curve. Points, and associated error bars, show the data constraints. S-shaped curves are assumed, to ensure smooth transition from 0% inertinite to 100% inertinite.
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Figure 2: Inertinite to p(O2) calibration curve. Points, and associated error bars, show the data constraints. S-shaped curves are assumed, to ensure smooth transition from 0% inertinite to 100% inertinite.

Mentions: The fixed points and error bars are plotted in Figure 2.


The impact of fire on the Late Paleozoic Earth system.

Glasspool IJ, Scott AC, Waltham D, Pronina N, Shao L - Front Plant Sci (2015)

Inertinite to p(O2) calibration curve. Points, and associated error bars, show the data constraints. S-shaped curves are assumed, to ensure smooth transition from 0% inertinite to 100% inertinite.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4585212&req=5

Figure 2: Inertinite to p(O2) calibration curve. Points, and associated error bars, show the data constraints. S-shaped curves are assumed, to ensure smooth transition from 0% inertinite to 100% inertinite.
Mentions: The fixed points and error bars are plotted in Figure 2.

Bottom Line: At higher levels of p(O2), increased fire activity would have rendered vegetation with high-moisture contents more susceptible to ignition and would have facilitated continued combustion.These findings are based upon analyses of charcoal volumes in multiple coals distributed across the globe and deposited during this time period, and that were then compared with similarly diverse modern peats and Cenozoic lignites and coals.Herein, we examine the environmental and ecological factors that would have impacted fire activity and we conclude that of these factors p(O2) played the largest role in promoting fires in Late Paleozoic peat-forming environments and, by inference, ecosystems generally, when compared with their prevalence in the modern world.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geology, Colby College Waterville, ME, USA ; Science and Education, Field Museum of Natural History Chicago, IL, USA.

ABSTRACT
Analyses of bulk petrographic data indicate that during the Late Paleozoic wildfires were more prevalent than at present. We propose that the development of fire systems through this interval was controlled predominantly by the elevated atmospheric oxygen concentration (p(O2)) that mass balance models predict prevailed. At higher levels of p(O2), increased fire activity would have rendered vegetation with high-moisture contents more susceptible to ignition and would have facilitated continued combustion. We argue that coal petrographic data indicate that p(O2) rather than global temperatures or climate, resulted in the increased levels of wildfire activity observed during the Late Paleozoic and can, therefore, be used to predict it. These findings are based upon analyses of charcoal volumes in multiple coals distributed across the globe and deposited during this time period, and that were then compared with similarly diverse modern peats and Cenozoic lignites and coals. Herein, we examine the environmental and ecological factors that would have impacted fire activity and we conclude that of these factors p(O2) played the largest role in promoting fires in Late Paleozoic peat-forming environments and, by inference, ecosystems generally, when compared with their prevalence in the modern world.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus