Given the chance to bring back from the jurassic any plant, which one would be the most adapted to survive and spread in our actual environment?

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    $\begingroup$ I believe ferns existed back then... $\endgroup$ – EveryBitHelps Aug 21 '16 at 22:24

Lots of plants from the Jurassic actually survive today. Many had their ancestors at that time.

Land plants abounded in the Jurassic, but floras were different from what we see today. Although Jurassic dinosaurs are sometimes drawn with palm trees, there were no palms, or any other flowering plants, at least as we know them today, in the Jurassic. Instead, ferns, ginkgoes, bennettitaleans or "cycadeoids", and true cycads -- like the living cycad pictured at the above right -- flourished in the Jurassic. Conifers were also present, including close relatives of living redwoods, cypresses, pines, and yews. Creeping about in this foliage, no bigger than rats, were a number of early mammals.

This is what they look like.

enter image description here

Basically there isn't a big problem resurrecting Jurassic flora as so much of it survives in the contemporary world.

  • $\begingroup$ Apart from grasses, was the Jurassic period not populated by very similar species to today? I may be wrong but I though most basic types of tree were already established (although not as prevent as palms and giant cycads or ferns). In my head I just have today - grass (+ some vines, mosses and ferns replacing some grass) as the base image. $\endgroup$ – TafT Oct 24 '16 at 7:46

The Jurassic, and particularly the late Jurassic had much higher levels of $\mathrm{CO_2}$ than today. Estimates vary,but the $\mathrm{CO_2}$ levels could have been 10 times the pre-industrial level. A Jurassic plant that took advantage of these high levels would find it hard to survive today.

So I'd look to plants whose growth was limited by other factors, such as the cold. There were conifers growing at high latitudes. Though there were no ice-caps during the Jurassic, the most Northerly parts of the world would have had a cold climate with snow during winter. If the conifers were slow growing and hardy they may survive our low $\mathrm{CO_2}$ world.


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