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Re: Volcanoes (comments on pterosaur extinction)

At 12:48 PM -0500 2/8/01, Emma C. Rainforth wrote:
At 04:19 PM 08/02/01 +0000, Ken Kinman wrote:
In any case one would
hardly expect herbivorous dinosaurs to inhabit freshly erupted lava fields
until a reasoable vegetation cover had evolved, again a matter of centuries,
even in a tropical climate.

Ronald I. Orenstein replied:

Is this true? In Hawaii it certainly does not necessarily take that long for lava flows to re-vegetate. Under the right conditions I think it is more likely to be decades than centuries (you can see this on the rainier parts of the big Island); ferns can establish themselves fairly quickly.

not necessarily that long. Ferns are opportunists and will quickly establish themselves in disturned environments (e.g. the fern-spore spike at both the KTB and TJB: immediately after the extinction, ferns, which had previously been a minor component of floras, dominated to the virtual exclusion of everything else.Mt St Helens is a recent example of *very* rapid estabishment of flora (initially ferns).

Yes. Ferns, are the first to return after a wildfire, as a matter of fact.

                        =00=  =00=  =00=  =00=
                        Marilyn D. Wegweiser, Ph.D.
                Adjunct Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology
                     Cincinnati Natural History Museum

Assistant Professor of Geology
Department of Geology                   mdwegweiser@bsu.edu
Ball State University                   Office: 765-285-8268;765-285-8270
Muncie, Indiana                         FAX:    765-285-8265