Mar 3, 2017

Amazon forest 'shaped by pre-Columbian indigenous peoples'

The scientists reached their conclusions by comparing data on tree composition from more than 1,000 locations in the Amazon with a map of archaeological sites. In an earlier study, published in 2013, a team lead by Dr ter Steege, from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, concluded that a limited number of trees was dominant in the Amazon. Half of the trees in the forest belong to just 227 species, according to their research. The researches said the ancient peoples of the Amazon left their mark in the forest. "Past civilizations have had a great role in changing, both consciously and unconsciously, the vegetation in the surroundings of their settlements and along paths that they used to travel," said study researcher Carolina Levis, from Brazil's National Institute for Amazonian Research and the Wageningen University and Research Center in the Netherlands.

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