||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Forest fragmentation. (Discuss) Proposed since April 2011.|
Rainforest collapse refers to the actual past and theoretical future ecological collapse of rainforests. It may involve habitat fragmentation to the point where little rainforest biome is left, and rainforest species only survive in isolated refugia.
In the Carboniferous period, coal forests, great tropical wetlands, extended over much of Euramerica (Europe and America). This land supported towering lycopsids which fragmented and collapsed abruptly. The collapse of the rainforests during the Carboniferous has been attributed to multiple causes, including climate change. Specifically, at this time climate became cooler and drier, conditions that are not favourable to the growth of rainforests and much of the biodiversity within them. This sudden collapse affected several large groups including lycopsids and amphibians. Reptiles prospered in the new environment due to adaptations that let them thrive in drier conditions.
Some people[who?] think that today's rainforests may collapse due to habit fragmentation by human beings.[who?] A classic pattern of forest fragmentation is occurring in many rainforests including those of the Amazon, specifically a 'fishbone' pattern formed by the development of roads into the forest. This is of great concern, not only because of the loss of a biome with many untapped resources, but also because animal species extinction is known to correlate with habitat fragmentation.
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