Amazon’s Ancient Black Soil: A New Solution for Boosting Global Forest Restoration

Amazon’s ancient black soil, found within the hidden heart of the Amazon, becomes a solution for ecological restoration all around the world. In the form of a thick, black soil deep in the Amazon rainforest, remnants from the past might hold the answer to solving pressing problems in the future. The scientists discovered that some tree species can grow up to six times taller in dark soil than in ordinary soil.

Amazon’s ancient black soil organically changed from black, poor soil as a result of centuries of Indigenous peoples’ deposits. According to a recent study from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, this soil is now a “secret weapon” for restoring forests all around the world. Amazonian dark earth (ADE) consists of ancient sediments from daily life, such as animal bones, broken pottery, compost, manure, and charcoal from fires used for cooking and burning waste.

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Millions of Amerindians worked to produce this soil between 450 BC and 950 AD. This Amazon’s ancient black soil is extremely fertile and nutrient-rich, both of which the charcoal specifically contributes to and which also give it its dark color. Importantly, the soil is home to a diverse microbial population that includes a variety of beneficial bacteria and archaea (another type of single-celled organism).

The co-lead author, Anderson Santos de Freitas, described how bacteria alter chemical soil particles into nutrients that plants can absorb. The mix of microbes on the dark earth is particularly adept at this. It has the potential to release more resources than usual to assist plants in growing.

Source: sciencefocus & nationalgeographic

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