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Using fossil leaf veins to reconstruct past climates

You can’t understand the global carbon cycle without understanding the activities of leaves. Leaves turn CO2 into sugar during photosynthesis, emits it during respiration and releases it when it rots. Leaf shape, size and structure is influenced tradeoffs between how many resources you spend to build the leaf, how quickly the leaf turns CO2 into sugar, and how long the leaf operates. Pluck a leaf from a tree and examine its underside.

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