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    One signature of life on Earth is the vegetation red edge (VRE) feature of land plants, a dramatic change of reflectivity at wavelength near 0.7 μm. Potentially habitable planets around M dwarfs are tidally locked, which can limit the distribution of land plants. In this study, we used a biogeochemical model to investigate the distribution of land plants on potentially habitable planets around M dwarfs driven by climate data produced in a general circulation model (GCM). When considering the effects of clouds, the observation time needed for VRE detection on nearby p = 1 exoplanets around nearby M dwarfs is on the order of days using a 25 m2 telescope if a large continent faces Earth during observations. For p = 1.5 exoplanets, the detection time could be similar if land plants developed the capability to endure a dark/cold environment for extended periods of time and the continent configuration favors observations. Our analysis suggests that hypothetical exovegetation VRE features are easier to detect than Earth vegetation and that VRE detection is possible for nearby exoplanets even under cloudy conditions. Key Words: Vegetation red edge-Exoplanets-M dwarfs-Biosignature detection. Astrobiology 17, xxx-xxx.


    Duo Cui, Feng Tian, Yuwei Wang, Changshen Li, Chaoqing Yu, Le Yu. On the Growth and Detectability of Land Plants on Habitable Planets around M Dwarfs. Astrobiology. 2017 Nov 17

    PMID: 29148825

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