Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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C4 Vegetation

Recently evolved tropical grasses and sedges found in warm, herbaceous ecosystems that utilize the C4 photosynthetic pathway and thus discriminate less markedly against the heavy 13C isotope during fixation of CO2. C4 plants have a relatively high 13C ratio (13C: 12C ratio). Used in dietary analysis to identify C4 consumers.

See carbon isotope analysis.

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