The DEEP2 Galaxy Redshift Survey: The role of galaxy environment in the cosmic star formation history

Michael C. Cooper, Jeffrey A. Newman, Benjamin J. Weiner, Renbin Yan, Christopher N.A. Willmer, Kevin Bundy, Alison L. Coil, Christopher J. Conselice, Marc Davis, S. M. Faber, Brian F. Gerke, Puragra Guhathakurta, David C. Koo, Kai G. Noeske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

224 Scopus citations


Using galaxy samples drawn from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the DEEP2 Galaxy Redshift Survey, we study the relationship between star formation and environment at z ∼ 0.1 and 1. We estimate the total star formation rate (SFR) and specific star formation rate (sSFR) for each galaxy according to the measured [O ii] λ 3727 Å nebular line luminosity, corrected using empirical calibrations to match more robust SFR indicators. Echoing previous results, we find that in the local Universe star formation depends on environment such that galaxies in regions of higher overdensity, on average, have lower SFRs and longer star formation time-scales than their counterparts in lower density regions. At z ∼ 1, we show that the relationship between sSFR and environment mirrors that found locally. However, we discover that the relationship between total SFR and overdensity at z ∼ 1 is inverted relative to the local relation. This observed evolution in the SFR-density relation is driven, in part, by a population of bright, blue galaxies in dense environments at z ∼ 1. This population, which lacks a counterpart at z ∼ 0, is thought to evolve into members of the red sequence from z ∼ 1 to ∼0. Finally, we conclude that environment does not play a dominant role in the cosmic star formation history at z < 1: the dependence of the mean galaxy SFR on local galaxy density at constant redshift is small compared to the decline in the global SFR space density over the last 7 Gyr.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1058-1078
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Galaxies: statistics
  • Large-scale structure of Universe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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