|The eight metre tall fungus Prototaxites evolved during the |
Devonian, when the land first became inhabitable. Fungi
could have become massive, self contained communities in
just a few million years, large enough to destroy entire forests
|The remains of the possible hyphal |
cells, displaying signs of sclerotia
When entire forests are threatened by extreme ecological events, organisms such as Rhizoctonic fungi can cause extreme damage and cause the forest to collapse entirely. The fungi would store the energy in resting structures and go into a form of stasis until ecological conditions reached a sufficient level of stability to maintain life above ground. The Permian Great Dying would have been a text book example of this scenario. Firm evidence of this theory has yet to arise, but it does have several salient points and some fossil evidence to back it up.