The invasion of the land by plants ('terrestrialization') was one of the most significant evolutionary events in the history of life on Earth, and correlates in time with periods of major palaeoenvironmental perturbations. The development of a vegetation cover on the previously barren land surfaces impacted on the global biogeochemical cycles and the geological processes of erosion and sediment transport. The terrestrialization of plants preceded the rise of major new groups of animals, such as insects and tetrapods, the latter numbering some 24 000 living species, including ourselves.
Early land-plant evolution also correlates with the most spectacular decline of atmospheric CO2 concentration of Phanerozoic times and with the onset of a protracted period of glacial conditions on Earth.
The Terrestrialization Process includes a selection of papers covering different aspects of the terrestrialization, from palaeobotany to vertebrate palaeontology and geochemistry, promoting a multidisciplinary approach to the understanding of the co-evolution of life and its environments during Early to Mid-Palaeozoic times.
- The terrestrialization process: introduction to modelling complex interactions at the biosphere-geosphere interface
- Terrestrialization: the early emergence of the concept
- An organic geochemical perspective on Terrestrialization
- The effects of terrestrialization on marine ecosystems: the fall of CO2
- Palaeogeographic and palaeoclimatic considerations based on Ordovician to Lochkovian vegetation
- The land plant cover in the Devonian: a reassessment of the evolution of the tree habit
- Early seed plant radiation: an ecological hypothesis
- First record of Rellimia Leclercq & Bonamo (Aneurophytales) from Gondwana, with comments on the earliest lignophytes
- The sedimentary environment of the Late Devonian East Greenland tetrapods
- Terrestrialization in the Late Devonian: a palaeoecological overview of the Red Hill site, Pennsylvania, USA
- The biostratigraphical distribution of earliest tetrapods (Late Devonian): a revised version with comments on biodiversification
- Palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental influences revealed by long-bone palaeohistology: the example of the Permian branchiosaurid Apateon
- Osmotic tolerance and habitat of early stegocephalians: indirect evidence from parsimony, taphonomy, palaeobiogeography, physiology and morphology