. Earth Science News .

Ancient Amazonians farmed without fire
by Staff Writers
Exeter, England (UPI) Apr 10, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Modern farmers in the Amazon region could take lessons in sustainability from the area's inhabitants of 800 years ago, scientists say.

Research led by the University of Exeter in Britain showed indigenous people living in the savannas around the Amazonian forest farmed without using fire to clear forest by practicing 'raised-field' farming, which involved constructing small agricultural mounds.

These raised fields provided better drainage, soil aeration and moisture retention in an environment that has both drought and flooding, an Exeter release said Monday.

While it has long been assumed indigenous people used fire as a way of clearing the savannas and managing their land, the study proves raised-field farming limited fires, which helped conserve soil nutrients and organic matter, and preserve soil structure, researchers said.

"This ancient, time-tested, fire-free land use could pave the way for the modern implementation of raised-field agriculture in rural areas of Amazonia," Exeter researcher Jose Iriarte said.

"Intensive raised-field agriculture can become an alternative to burning down tropical forest for slash and burn agriculture by reclaiming otherwise abandoned and new savannah ecosystems created by deforestation."

Related Links
Forestry News - Global and Local News, Science and Application

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Scientists forecast forest carbon loss
Boston MA (SPX) Apr 11, 2012
When most people look at a forest, they see walking trails, deer yards, or firewood for next winter. But scientists at the Harvard Forest and Smithsonian Institution take note of changes imperceptible to the naked eye - the uptake and storage of carbon. What they've learned in a recent study is that an immense amount of carbon is stored in growing trees, but if current trends in Massachuse ... read more

Chinese yacht arrivals to seek asylum in Australia

Titanic's first-class menu recreated in Hong Kong

Massive Indonesia quakes trigger tsunami alert

Titanic disaster 'unlikely to happen again'

Price-fixing suit hits as eyes turn to e-books

NASA Selects Loral Platform to Help Enable Next Era of Space Communications

Space Debris Remediation - Who Are We Kidding?

US cracks down on smartphone theft

India: reforms needed for water supply

Task force recommends reducing global harvest of "forage fish"

Radiation from Japan found in kelp off US West Coast

Corals 'could survive a more acidic ocean'

42,000-year-old baby mammoth on show in Hong Kong

Satellite observes rapid ice shelf disintegration in Antarctic

Long-term research reveals causes and consequences of environmental change

Ice sheet collapse and sea-level rise at the Bolling warming 14,600 years ago

Researchers find evidence of banned antibiotics in poultry products

Use of common pesticide linked to bee colony collapse

China tightens 'land grab' rules to defuse unrest

New forage plant prepares farmers for climate changes

Indonesian quake reawakens 2004 fears in Asia

Sampling the Pacific for signs of Fukushima

Two dead due to heavy rain in Brazil

Volcanic plumbing exposed

W. Africa must define scope of Mali intervention

African turmoil boosts Sahel famine threat

DR Congo leader visits region of army defectors

DR Congo army hunts ex-rebel deserter

Scientists find evidence that human ancestors used fire one million years ago

Newly Discovered Foot Points to a New Kid on the Hominin Block

Burtele Foot Indicates Lucy Not Alone

Are we really a nation of animal lovers?

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement