Quantitative analysis of paleoatmospheric CO2 level based on stomatal characters of fossil Ginkgo

Quantitative analysis of paleoatmospheric CO2 level based on stomatal characters of fossil Ginkgo from Jurassic to Cretaceous in China

by Sun B. N., Xiao L., Xie S .P., Deng S. H., Wang Y. D., Jia H, Turner S. (2007)

SUN Bainian, XIAO Liang, XIE Sanping, DENG Shenghui, WANG Yongdong, JIA Hui, Susan Turner,


In Acta Geologica Sinica 81: 931– 939 – https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-6724.2007.tb01016.x



A better theoretical and practical understanding of the linkage between paleo‐CO2 and climate during geological history is important to enhance the sustainable development of modern human society.

Development in plant physiology since the 1980s has led to the realization that fossil plants can serve as a proxy for paleoatmosphere and paleobiosphere.

As a relict gymnosperm with evolutionary stasis, Ginkgo is well suited for paleoenvironmental reconstruction. This paper analyzes fossil Ginkgo species from integrated strata in the north of China using anatomic data of plant physiology.

Using stomatal parameters, a trend for the paleo‐CO2 level during the Early‐Middle Jurassic and the Early Cretaceous was obtained, which is consistent with the estimates by GEOCARB. The trend is also similar to that of Mean Global Surface Temperature in geological time.

Compared with three other atmospheric CO2 concentration parameters, the trend of paleo‐CO2 level based on the stomatal parameter of the fossil Ginkgo specimens from three contiguous strata is more exact.

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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