Biomes are fundamentally determined by climate, as are the ranges of most individual plant species. Whenever the global climate changed in the past, so did the form and species composition of vegetation in each part of the world. In the past couple of decades, geologists have become increasingly aware just how much the earth's climate can change, and often on far shorter timescales than would have been thought possible. Each of these changes must also have had profound effects on vegetation: in this chapter we will deal with these effects and consider what they might mean for the present world, which seems to be warming rapidly.
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