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Parts of the Amazon rainforest were once grasslands

Joe Chivers | @thehiveburner| July 08, 2014

Parts of the Amazon rainforest were once grasslands

The rainforest only began to spread in around 0-300AD, as the climate changed and became more wet.

To many people, the Amazon rainforest shows nature’s true majesty, just what nature is capable of without human intervention. From its rich biodiversity to its sheer scale, the Amazon is truly a natural wonder. However, new research shows that it may not always have been like this. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), researchers from the University of Reading say that large swathes of what is now rainforest may once have been grasslands.

The researchers took samples known as “mud cores” from two sites in Bolivia. These samples were then analysed, and found to contain pollen and other particles which shows a change in the area’s ecosystem over the past 6000 years.

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