How extinction of five-tonne sloths slows up growth along Amazon

Independent: Vast regions of the Amazon are growing more slowly than they were several thousand years ago because they lack the fertilising effect provided by South America’s distinctive “mega-fauna” – the very large mammals that went extinct soon after the arrival of humans. A study of how soil nutrients are distributed within the Amazon basin has revealed there is a dearth of vital minerals such as phosphorus because large mammals no longer roam the region to fertilise the soil with their dung. Scientists......

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