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Nothofagus, also known as the southern beeches, is a family of trees that used to be prolific on Gondwana. The now extinct N. Tumulosus was primarily growing on the fertile ash of pre-historic volcanic landscapes.
Recently scientists found that these trees grew taller and greener above fractures in the rock through which volcanic magma later spurted out during eruptions.
Increased temperatures and gases released by the rising molten rock appear to encourage faster photosynthesis, the process by which plants use the energy in sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and oxygen.