Jared Diamond has invoked the concept (as well as that of landscape amnesia) in attempting to explain why in the course of long-term environmental degradation, Easter Island natives would, seemingly irrationally, chop down the last tree:
Gradually trees became fewer, smaller, and less important. By the time the last fruit-bearing adult palm tree was cut, palms had long since ceased to be of economic significance. That left only smaller and smaller palm saplings to clear each year, along with other bushes and treelets. No one would have noticed the felling of the last small palm.