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Re: No Cretaceous rainforests?



LIST MEMBERS -

The current discussion seems to turn on the definition of "rainforest." I sent two quick questions to Kirk Johnson. Questions and responses are below.

- DONNA BRAGINETZ

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1) Are you saying there were no rainforests during the Mesozoic?

In my reading of the literature, I have found no convincing evidence that species-rich angiosperm-dominanted rainforests existed in the Mesozoic. They may have been there but nobody has documented them and I am beginning to believe they weren't there until the Paleocene.

2) Or are you limiting "rainforest" to a warm, wet,
high-diversity, mostly angiosperm community?

That's essentially correct. I am using tropical rainforest in essentially the modern sense. That having been said, no one has described, with any precision, tropical everwet Mesozoic communities that grew in conditions that would today support a tropical rainforest.