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To complete this assignement student have to work in groups to answer a series of questions on the evolution of land plants. They need to combine material previously covered in lecture and information from the WWW to determine how the evolution of land plants changed the lithosphere, atmophere, and biosphere. After completing the attached exercise the students participate in a guided discussion. There are several way to divide students up into groups. Different groups are asked to summarize: the link between the spread of land plants and 1) atmospheric carbon levels and climatic conditions, 2) organic carbon and dissolved oxygen levels in the ocean 3) the abundance of corals and other marine animals: shallow vs. deep ocean 4) Erosion rates on land and rates of organic matter burial in the oceans. 5) General patterns in diversity and biomass of marine and terrestrial fauna Then each group is asked to discuss how the aspect they considered about the Devonian Extinction fits into and differs from conditions we see in the modern carbon cycle.
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