Amazon ecology: Footprints in the forest

in amazon •  2 months ago

Crystal McMichael looking for signs of ancient human disturbances in Amazon. They were exploring around Ecuador's Lake Ayauchi, which McMichael knew held the earliest record of maize (corn) cultivation in the Amazon from around 6,000 years ago. But the jungle hid its secrets well. If you looked at the forest you wouldn't realize there was any ancient disturbance
Studies dating back to the 1950s suggested that small indigenous tribes merely scratched out a living in primitive villages before the arrival of Europeans.


image source: pixabay.com

McMichael joined a team of remote-sensing scientists at the University of New Hampshire in Durham in an attempt to identify terra preta through satellite imagery. Their unpublished analysis suggests that it is possible to spot terra preta from space by seeking fertile regions where leaves absorb high amounts of nutrients and water.

It might take a much broader view — in time as well as space — to get the full picture of the human impact on the Amazon. People were living there long before pre-Columbian times and could have been shaping and determining the composition of the forest for millennia through hunting and foraging.


image source: pixabay.com

If many areas of the Amazon have been regrowing since the early 1900s, that could have temporarily boosted how much carbon dioxide the region is absorbing from the atmosphere, says Saatchi. If true, as that disturbance fades, the forest's role as a carbon sink could shrink.

read more: https://www.nature.com/news/amazon-ecology-footprints-in-the-forest-1.13902

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Source
Copying/Pasting full or partial texts without adding anything original is frowned upon by the community. Repeated copy/paste posts could be considered spam. Spam is discouraged by the community, and may result in action from the cheetah bot.

More information and tips on sharing content.

If you believe this comment is in error, please contact us in #disputes on Discord

Congratulations @vinr! You have completed the following achievement on Steemit and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

Award for the number of upvotes

Click on the badge to view your Board of Honor.
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Do you like SteemitBoard's project? Then Vote for its witness and get one more award!