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Ancient human tree cultivation shaped Amazon landscape

Ancient human tree cultivation shaped Amazon landscapeBy Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ancient indigenous peoples had a far more profound impact on the composition of the vast Amazon rainforest than previously known, according to a study showing how tree species domesticated by humans long ago still dominate big swathes of the wilderness. Researchers said on Thursday many tree species populating the Amazon region appear to be abundant because they were cultivated by people who populated the area before Europeans arrived more than five centuries ago. "So the Amazon is not nearly as untouched as it may seem," said study researcher Hans ter Steege, a forest community ecologist at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands and Free University of Amsterdam.




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