Jennifer C. McElwain

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Plant stomata display a wide range of short-term behavioural and long-term morphological responses to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]). The diversity of responses suggests that plants may have different strategies for controlling gas exchange, yet it is not known whether these strategies are co-ordinated in some way. Here, we test the(More)
It is widely accepted that atmospheric O2 has played a key role in the development of life on Earth, as evident from the coincidence between the rise of atmospheric O2 concentrations in the Precambrian and biological evolution. Additionally, it has also been suggested that low atmospheric O2 is one of the major drivers for at least two of the five(More)
The interpretation of biotic changes in the geological past relies on the assumption that samples from different time intervals represent an equivalent suite of natural sampling conditions. As a result, detailed investigations of taphonomic regimes during intervals of major biotic upheaval, such as mass extinctions, are crucial. In this paper, we have used(More)
Understanding the drivers of geological-scale patterns in plant macroevolution is limited by a hesitancy to use measurable traits of fossils to infer palaeoecophysiological function. Here, scaling relationships between morphological traits including maximum theoretical stomatal conductance (gmax ) and leaf vein density (Dv ) and physiological measurements(More)
In order to be successful in a given environment a plant should invest in a vein network and stomatal distribution that ensures balance between both water supply and demand. Vein density (Dv) and stomatal density (SD) have been shown to be strongly positively correlated in response to a range of environmental variables in more recently evolved plant(More)
One strategy for plants to optimize stomatal function is to open and close their stomata quickly in response to environmental signals. It is generally assumed that small stomata can alter aperture faster than large stomata. We tested the hypothesis that species with small stomata close faster than species with larger stomata in response to darkness by(More)
Plant growth chambers provide a controlled environment to analyse the effects of environmental parameters (light, temperature, atmospheric gas composition etc.) on plant function. However, it has been shown that a ‘chamber effect’ may exist whereby results observed are not due to an experimental treatment but to inconspicuous differences in supposedly(More)
The Triassic-Jurassic boundary (Tr-J; ∼201 Ma) is marked by a doubling in the concentration of atmospheric CO2, rising temperatures, and ecosystem instability. This appears to have been driven by a major perturbation in the global carbon cycle due to massive volcanism in the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province. It is hypothesized that this volcanism also(More)
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