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      The legacy of 4,500 years of polyculture agroforestry in the eastern Amazon

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          Abstract

          The legacy of pre-Columbian land use on modern Amazonian forests has stimulated considerable debate which, until now, has not been satisfactorily resolved due to the absence of integrated studies between pre-Columbian and modern land use. Here we show an abrupt enrichment of edible forest species combined with the cultivation of multiple annual crops in lake and terrestrial fossil records associated with pre-Columbian occupation in the eastern Amazon. Our results suggest that ~4,500 years ago, pre-Columbians adopted a polyculture agroforestry subsistence strategy that intensified with the development of Amazon Dark Earth soils after ~2,000 cal yr B.P. These millennial-scale polyculture agroforestry systems have left an enduring legacy on the modern enrichment of edible plants, demonstrating the important role of past indigenous land management in shaping modern forest ecosystems in the eastern Amazon.

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          Most cited references70

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          Hyperdominance in the Amazonian tree flora.

          The vast extent of the Amazon Basin has historically restricted the study of its tree communities to the local and regional scales. Here, we provide empirical data on the commonness, rarity, and richness of lowland tree species across the entire Amazon Basin and Guiana Shield (Amazonia), collected in 1170 tree plots in all major forest types. Extrapolations suggest that Amazonia harbors roughly 16,000 tree species, of which just 227 (1.4%) account for half of all trees. Most of these are habitat specialists and only dominant in one or two regions of the basin. We discuss some implications of the finding that a small group of species--less diverse than the North American tree flora--accounts for half of the world's most diverse tree community.
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            Pollen Representation of Vegetation in Quaternary Sediments: Theory and Method in Patchy Vegetation

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              A sequential algorithm for testing climate regime shifts

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                101651677
                43556
                Nat Plants
                Nat Plants
                Nature plants
                2055-0278
                28 June 2018
                23 July 2018
                August 2018
                23 January 2019
                : 4
                : 8
                : 540-547
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Archaeology, College of Humanities, University of Exeter, Laver Building, North Park Road, Exeter EX4 4QE, UK
                [2 ]Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA), Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil
                [3 ]Forest Ecology and Management Group, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, the Netherlands
                [4 ]Department of Geography, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Amory Building, Rennes Drive. Exeter, EX4 4RJ, UK
                [5 ]Universidade do Estado de Mato Grosso, Campus of Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso State, Brazil
                [6 ]Department of Anthropology, Federal University of Pará, Belém 66075-110, Brazil
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence to: s.y.maezumi@ 123456exeter.ac.uk
                Article
                EMS78181
                10.1038/s41477-018-0205-y
                6119467
                30038410
                19f9b70a-86c8-4ef2-81bb-6ca6876369ac

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