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A form of bacteria, with many traits unique to all life on Earth.

significance of photosynthesis and cellular respiration to all life.

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Why is photosynthesis so important to life on earth

Also, just as no fundamentally new body plans appeared after the Cambrian Explosion, modern ecosystems seem constrained by body size. Body sizes have similar “slots,” and body sizes outside of those slots are relatively rare. However, successful innovation usually happens at the fringes. The fringes are where survival is marginal and innovations carry a high risk/reward ratio. Most innovations fail, but a successful one can become universally dominant, such as those biological innovations that are considered to have happened only . There have been countless failed biological innovations during life’s history on Earth, many of which might have seemed brilliant but did not survive the rigors of living.

The importance of photosynthesis to life on earth

When the total continental land mass was small or combined into a supercontinent, there was no land to divert that diffusion of warm water toward the poles, which results in currents. During those times, the global ocean became one big, calm lake, with no currents of significance. Those oceans are called today, and they would have been anoxic; the oxygenated surface waters would not have been drawn by currents to the ocean floor, and the oceans were certainly anoxic before the GOE. The interplay of those can be incredibly complex and lead to the multitude of hypotheses posited to explain those ancient events, but a leading hypothesis today is that a combination of factors, including supercontinents, variations in volcanic output, Canfield Oceans, and ice ages prevented life from gaining ecosystem dominance until the waning of the second Snowball Earth event, which was the greatest series of glaciations that Earth has yet experienced. It is known today as the , which ended about 635 mya. The study of the Cryogenian Period, which is the subject of , resulted in the term “.”

Timeline of Photosynthesis on Earth - Scientific American

All animals, , use aerobic respiration today, and early animals (, which are called metazoans today) may have also used aerobic respiration. Before the rise of eukaryotes, the dominant life forms, bacteria and archaea, had many chemical pathways to generate energy as they farmed that potential electron energy from a myriad of substances, such as , and photosynthesizers got their donor electrons from hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen, , , and other chemicals. If there is potential energy in electron bonds, bacteria and archaea will often find ways to harvest it. Many archaean and bacterial species thrive in harsh environments that would quickly kill any complex life, and those hardy organisms are called . In harsh environments, those organisms can go dormant for millennia and , waiting for appropriate conditions (usually related to available energy). In some environments, it can .

About 1 bya, began to decline and microbial photosynthesizers , probably due to predation pressure from , which are eukaryotes. Eating stromatolites may reflect the of , although grazing is really just a form of predation. The difference between grazing and predation is the prey. If the prey is an (it fixes its own carbon, by using energy from either or ), it is called grazing, and if the prey got its carbon from eating autotrophs (such creatures are called ), then it is called . There are other categories of life-form consumption, such as and (eating dead organisms), and there are many instances of . For complex life, the symbiosis between the and its cellular host was the most important one ever.

07/04/2008 · Timeline of Photosynthesis on Earth

The primary heat dynamic on Earth’s surface is that the oceans near the equator are heated by sunlight and spreads the heat toward the poles via oceanic currents. Today’s continental configuration, with three major oceans besides the polar ones, has seen a develop that takes water 1,600 years to travel. Where the Atlantic Ocean meets the polar oceans, which is how the oceans are oxygenated. Without that oxygenation, there would be little life on the ocean floor or much below the surface; almost the entire global ocean would be lifeless. Before the , this was certainly the case, but make the case that the oceans were anoxic for more than a billion years after the GOE began, largely because of the continental configurations and geophysical and geochemical processes.

Just as were “invented,” somewhere between 1.6 bya and 600 mya a eukaryote ate a cyanobacterium and both survived, and that cyanobacterium became the ancestor of all chloroplasts, which is the photosynthetic organelle in all plants. As with similar previous events, it appears that it , and all plants are descended from that unique event. The invention of the chloroplast , which were the first plants. The first algae fossils are from about 1.2 bya. Most algae species are not called plants, as they are not descended from that instance when a eukaryote ate a cyanobacterium. The non-plant algae, such as , also have chloroplasts, from various “envelopment” events when algae chloroplasts were eaten and the grazers and chloroplasts survived. Below is the general outline of the tree of life today, in which bacteria and archaea combined to make eukaryotic cells, and in which the bacterium enveloped into a protist to make plants, and all complex life developed from protists. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

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    Photosynthesis - Wikipedia

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There are plenty of ideas, but few clear facts

The Moon in relation to the Sun and made Earth's seasons vary within a relatively narrow range. Without the Moon, Earth could have up to 90o changes in its axis of rotation instead of the 22o-to-24.5o variation of the past several million years. If that had happened, although life may have survived, Earth’s climate would have been extremely chaotic, with part of the planet going into perpetual day while another went into perpetual night, and other wild variations. Earth would have had mass-extinction effects on those portions, and the rest of the biosphere would have been extremely challenged to survive. Complex life on Earth would little resemble today’s (if it had appeared and survived at all), if Earth’s axis tilted chaotically and severely. The primary effect of Earth’s stable tilt is the planet’s entire surface receiving relatively uniform and predictable energy levels.

Microbes in the Ocean - sea, oceans, effects, …

Many principles of evolutionary theory have not changed much since Darwin, and one of them is that when one species gains the “upper hand” in the struggle of life on Earth, as there is only so much sunlight and nutrients to go around, . Ultimately, the species with the highest carrying capacity, or ability to extract energy from its environment, wins. There are many ways, however, to attain that winning carrying capacity. Another Darwinian concept is that species adapt to their environments (which include other species) to benefit species, not any other (and Darwin used the concept at the organism level, not the species level). is a central feature of evolutionary theory. But Darwin’s idea of gradual changes leading to speciation is confounded by the appearance of mitochondria, which led to complex life. There was nothing gradual about an archaean swallowing a bacterium and both surviving, and the bacterium eventually became the power plant for all animals. It was a radical change and a chasm between simple and complex life.

08/07/2007 · Significance of Photosynthesis ..

During that “,” , , and the rise of grazing and predation had eonic significance. While many critical events in life’s history were unique, one that is not is multicellularity, , and some prokaryotes have multicellular structures, some even with specialized organisms forming colonies. There are , but the primary advantage was size, which would become important in the coming eon of complex life. The rise of complex life might have happened faster than the billion years or so after the basic foundation was set (the complex cell, oxygenic photosynthesis), but geophysical and geochemical processes had their impacts. Perhaps most importantly, the oceans probably did not get oxygenated until just before complex life appeared, as they were sulfidic from 1.8 bya to 700 mya. Atmospheric oxygen is currently thought to have remained at only a few percent at most until about 850 mya, although there are recent arguments that it remained low until only about 420 mya, when large animals began to appear and animals began to colonize land. Just as the atmospheric oxygen content began to rise, then came the biggest ice age in Earth’s history, which probably played a major role in the rise of complex life.

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