Persistent effects of pre-Columbian plant domestication on Amazonian forest composition

C. Levis C. Costa F. Bongers M. Peña-Claros C. Clement A. Junqueira E. Neves E. Tamanaha F. Figueiredo R. Salomão 1 C. Castilho E. Magnusson 2 O. Phillips E. Guevara 3 Daniel Sabatier 4 Jean-François Molino 4 D. López M. Mendoza C. Pitman A. Duque P. Núñez Vargas C. Zartman R. Vasquez A. Andrade 5 J. Camargo 6 R. Feldpausch W. Laurance F. Laurance J. Killeen E. Nascimento C. Montero B. Mostacedo I. Amaral C. Guimarães Vieira R. Brienen H. Castellanos J. Terborgh 5 M. Carim R. Guimarães L. de Souza Coelho F. Matos F. Wittmann F. Mogollón G. Damasco N. Dávila R. García-Villacorta E. Coronado 7 T. Emilio D. Andrade J. Schietti P. Souza N. Targhetta A. Comiskey S. Marimon H. Marimon D. Neill 8 A. Alonso 9 L. Arroyo 10 F. Carvalho 11 C. Souza F. Dallmeier M. Pansonato F. Duivenvoorden A. Fine R. Stevenson 12 A. Araujo-Murakami C. Aymard C. C. Baraloto 5 D. Amaral Julien Engel W. Henkel P. Maas P. Petronelli 13 J. Revilla J. Stropp 5 D. Daly R. Gribel M. Paredes M. Silveira 14 R. Thomas-Caesar 5 R. Baker 15 F. da Silva 16 L. Ferreira 17 C. Peres M. Silman C. Cerón C. Valverde A. Di Fiore M. Jimenez 18 C. Mora 19 M. Toledo M. Barbosa C. Matos 20 C. Arboleda E. Farias A. Fuentes J. Guillaumet P. Jørgensen Y. Malhi 21 I. Andrade F. Phillips A. Prieto 22 A. Rudas 23 A. Ruschel N. Silva P. von Hildebrand A. Vos E. Zent S. Zent B. Cintra M. Nascimento A. Oliveira 24 H. Ramírez-Angulo 5 F. Ramos G. Rivas 25 J. Schöngart 26 R. Sierra M. Tirado G. van der Heijden E. Torre O. Wang R. Young 27 C. Baider A. Cano 28 W. Farfan-Rios C. Ferreira 29 B. Hoffman C. Mendoza 30 I. Mesones A. Torre M. Medina R. van Andel D. Villarroel R. Zagt M. Alexiades H. Balslev K. Garcia-Cabrera T. Gonzales 31 L. Hernandez 32 I. Huamantupa-Chuquimaco A. Manzatto W. Milliken W. Cuenca S. Pansini D. Pauletto F. Arevalo F. Costa 33 F. Sampaio 34 E. Giraldo E. Sandoval L. Gamarra C. Vela H. ter Steege 5
Abstract : The marks of prehistoric human societies on tropical forests can still be detected today. Levis et al. performed a basin-wide comparison of plant distributions, archaeological sites, and environmental data. Plants domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples are much more likely to be dominant in Amazonian forests than other species. Furthermore, forests close to archaeological sites often have a higher abundance and richness of domesticated species. Thus, modern-day Amazonian tree communities across the basin remain largely structured by historical human use.Science, this issue p. 925The extent to which pre-Columbian societies altered Amazonian landscapes is hotly debated. We performed a basin-wide analysis of pre-Columbian impacts on Amazonian forests by overlaying known archaeological sites in Amazonia with the distributions and abundances of 85 woody species domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples. Domesticated species are five times more likely than nondomesticated species to be hyperdominant. Across the basin, the relative abundance and richness of domesticated species increase in forests on and around archaeological sites. In southwestern and eastern Amazonia, distance to archaeological sites strongly influences the relative abundance and richness of domesticated species. 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.
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C. Levis, C. Costa, F. Bongers, M. Peña-Claros, C. Clement, et al.. Persistent effects of pre-Columbian plant domestication on Amazonian forest composition. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2017, 355 (6328), pp.925-931. ⟨10.1126/science.aal0157⟩. ⟨hal-02191535⟩

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