Short Evolutionary History of Plants

  • Yiannis Manetas


First, a short history of life before the appearance of land plants is given, focusing on those critical evolutionary episodes that paved the way, i.e. photosynthesis in prokaryotes, endosymbiosis, increased structural complexity and the appearance of multicellular algal ancestors. Then, the challenges of land conquest and the required structural and functional innovations are described. Once having established themselves on land, plants determined its subsequent history. Emphasis is given to the evolutionary importance of violent environmental perturbations, the resistance of plants to mass extinctions, and the reasons for this resistance.


Flowering Plant Phenotypic Plasticity Land Plant Land Colonisation Multicellular Organism 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yiannis Manetas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece

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