Ancient life thrived after supercontinents trapped nutrient-rich soil

by ARKANSAS DIGITAL NEWS

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Supercontinents like Pangaea, which formed around 300 million years ago, played a key role in biodiversity

MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The changing flow of nutrient-rich soil across the planet as the continents shifted was a key driver of evolution and biodiversity, researchers have found – suggesting that the human-driven soil degradation we see today may be having a larger impact on ecosystems than previously considered.

Tristan Salles at the University of Sydney, Australia, and his colleagues made the discovery with a computer model that recreates the movement of Earth’s landmasses, using data on ancient precipitation,…

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