New research shows role ancient peoples might have played in shaping Amazon rainforest

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored While the extent to which mankind has influenced the Amazon is a topic of much heated debate, a common assumption is that whether a species thrived in a particular area or not was determined mostly by the process of natural selection.But a research team that used data from more than 1,000 forest surveys to study forest composition at over 3,000 archaeological sites across the Amazon found that species domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples were five times as likely to be “hyperdominant” as non-domesticated species.“This lays to rest the long-standing myth of the ’empty Amazon’,” said Charles Clement, a senior researcher at Brazil’s National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA) and a co-author of the study. It’s common for conservationists to talk about preserving nature in a “pristine” or “unspoiled” state, but new research might complicate a simple definition of these terms, at least when it comes to the Amazon.There are close to 12,000 known species of trees in the Amazon, and scientists estimate that there are probably 4,000 more that we haven’t yet discovered, meaning that the best guess is that the Amazon harbors a total of about 16,000 tree species.While the extent to which mankind has influenced the Amazon is a topic of much heated debate, a common assumption is that whether a species thrived in a particular area or not was determined mostly by the process of natural selection. But according to a study published in the journal Science this month, the Amazon rainforests we seek to protect from the impacts of human activities today were shaped, at least in part, by indigenous peoples thousands of years ago.“Some of the tree species that are abundant in Amazonian forests today, like cacao, açaí, and Brazil nut, are probably common because they were planted by people who lived there long before the arrival of European colonists,” Nigel Pitman, the Mellon Senior Conservation Ecologist at Chicago’s Field Museum and a co-author of the study, said in a statement.Pitman was part of a research team that used data from more than 1,000 forest surveys to study forest composition at over 3,000 archaeological sites across the Amazon. By overlaying the data with a map of the sites, the team was able to look at how pre-Columbian peoples might have influenced the diversity and distribution of trees in the Amazon.A new study found that tree species domesticated by pre-Columbian Amazonian peoples are five times as likely to be “hyperdominant” as non-domesticated species. Photo © Daniel Sabatier.The team focused on 85 tree species cultivated by Amazonian peoples over the last several millennia for food, shelter, and other uses. They write in the study that “Domesticated species are five times more likely than nondomesticated species to be hyperdominant.” Throughout the Amazon Basin, the researchers found, “the relative abundance and richness of domesticated species increase in forests on and around archaeological sites… Our analyses indicate that modern tree communities in Amazonia are structured to an important extent by a long history of plant domestication by Amazonian peoples.”Pitman added: “That’s even the case for some really remote, mature forests that we’d typically assumed to be pristine and undisturbed.”“This lays to rest the long-standing myth of the ’empty Amazon’,” Charles Clement, a senior researcher at Brazil’s National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA) and a co-author of the study, said in a statement. “Early European naturalists reported scattered indigenous populations living in huge and apparently virgin forests, and that idea has continued to fascinate the media, policy makers, development planners and even some scientists. This study confirms that even areas of the Amazon that look empty today are crowded with ancient footprints.”Carolina Levis, a PhD student at Brazil’s National Institute for Amazonian Research and Wagenigen University and Research in the Netherlands, led the research team, which was comprised of hundreds of ecologists and social scientists from around the world.An archeological dig site in the Amazon. Photo © Val Moraes/Central Amazon Project.Levis says that ecological studies have traditionally ignored the influence of pre-Columbian peoples on today’s forests, but that her team’s findings show why this is nonetheless an important line of inquiry.“We found that a quarter of these domesticated tree species are widely distributed in the basin and dominate large expanses of forest,” she said. “These species are vital for the livelihood and economy of Amazonian peoples and indicate that the Amazonian flora is in part a surviving heritage of its former inhabitants.”Levis and team caution that we still have a lot to learn about how mankind might have affected the species composition of the largest rainforest in the world, however. For one thing, it’s not clear what impacts more recent Amazonian settlements have had on the distribution and abundance of domesticated species that we can observe today. And while some regions, like Southwestern Amazonia, were found to have particularly high concentrations and diversities of these species (such as Brazil nut trees, which remain a staple of local residents’ livelihoods to this day), other regions, like the Guiana Shield, were found to harbor far fewer of the 85 species studied.Compared to the 16,000 tree species believed to exist in the Amazon, studying just 85 species may appear to be a relatively small sample, but Levis and her co-authors say it is a sufficient number to demonstrate significant human influence. In fact, the researchers note that, because there are hundreds of other Amazonian tree species known to have been managed by pre-Colombian peoples, human impact on the Amazon might be even greater than their study has shown.Flávia Costa, another researcher with INPA who was also a study co-author, said that these findings “have important implications for conservation,” especially given the fact that many of these domesticated tree species are still crucial to the livelihoods of Amazonian peoples, even while the Amazon continues to face severe threats from deforestation and degradation, road-building, mining, and other impacts of modern human industry.“We have shown that the southwestern and eastern regions concentrate the most domesticated species, and these are the regions where most forest degradation and loss is occurring,” Costa said. “Southwestern and eastern Amazonia may not be considered classical biodiversity hotspots, but should be top conservation priorities as reservoirs of high value forests for human populations.”It’s not clear what impacts more recent Amazonian settlements have had on the distribution and abundance of domesticated species that we can observe today. Photo © Eglee Zent.CITATIONLevis, C., Costa, F. R., Bongers, F., Peña-Claros, M., Clement, C. R., Junqueira, A. B., … & Castilho, C. V. (2017). Persistent effects of pre-Columbian plant domestication on Amazonian forest composition. Science, 355(6328), 925-931. doi:10.1126/science.aal0157Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon People, Amazon Rainforest, Environment, Forests, Indigenous Peoples, Rainforests, Research, Trees, Tropical Forests center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *