The first land plants quickly formed relationships with fungi
When plants began colonizing land over 450 million years ago they met rock. Lots of rock. And only rock. At least, that’s the image many people imagine.
But soil has been teeming with life for billions of years. Even many geologists are surprised to learn that land was not barren before plants came along, says Paul Kenrick, who studies ancient soils at the London Museum of Natural History. “You shouldn’t be embarrassed about thinking that,” he says. “I think a lot of people actually think that way.”