A new study has revealed that Pine trees had become temporarily sterile when they are exposed to ultraviolet radiation which might have contributed to the worst mass extinction occurred in Earth more than 250 million years ago.
The recent claim comes thanks to a recently concluded research by Jeffry Benca and his colleagues from UC Berkeley who recently irradiated bonsai-like pines with UV-B dosages to simulate the effects of ozone depletion that was caused by the volcanic eruptions at the end of the Permian Period. Surprisingly, the trees did not perished during the period but became temporarily sterile.
The group published their findings in journal Science Advances http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/2/e1700618. They wrote, “We find that pollen malformation frequencies increase fivefold under high UV-B intensities. Surprisingly, all trees survived but were sterilized under enhanced UV-B,” Benca and colleagues wrote in their study. “. These results support the hypothesis that heightened UV-B stress could have contributed not only to pollen malformation production but also to deforestation during Permian-Triassic crisis intervals.”
The latest findings from the research supports the idea that Ozone depletion had a critical role to play in the largest extinction that Earth has ever experienced.