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Darwin In the Garden

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Brains and Tools

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Darwin in the Garden Poster Display for Feb 12 2009 Darwin bicentennial

Darwin in the Garden © Bob Field 2009-0204


Posters and Talk based on walk: Exploring Evolution in the Leaning Pine Arboretum


Theme: Darwin traveled the world before he understood the origin of species, but all we have to do is visit Mediterranean gardens to illustrate how the Earth and its biosphere have been evolving for billions of years.

It’s all about relationships with other plants, animals, algae, bacteria, and fungi, and the Earth and its geobiosphere.


Our walk and poster display are based on four big ideas:


First, like remote volcanic islands, the geographical isolation of Mediterrranean climates on five continents provides multiple opportunities for plants to evolve specialized adaptations to survive extended dry seasons, years of drought, and occasionally devastating wildfires. click to expand or collapse

geographic isolation fosters evolutionary diversity
















Second, the co-evolution of plants and animals influences their anatomy and physiology, particularly as plants reward and repel animals. click to expand or collapse

co-evolution of plants and animals










Third, plant cells fix inorganic carbon from the atmosphere, but cannot fix other key nutrients from atmospheric nitrogen and phosphate minerals. This is explained by their evolutionary history of symbiotic relationships with fungus and bacteria. click to expand or collapse

relationships with algae, fungus and bacteria














Fourth, the co-evolution of the Earth and its biosphere can explain the persistence of liquid oceans, the composition of the atmosphere, and the diversity, abundance, and distribution of the six kingdoms of life. click to expand or collapse

co-evolution of the Earth and its biosphere











Voyage of the Beagle - click to expand or collapse

Beagle images











Darwin really had a Garden - click to expand or collapse

images of Darwin's Garden at Down House south of London











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