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Ancient Human Trash Heaps Gave Rise to Everglades Tree Islands?

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posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 03:32 PM
Tree islands are patches of elevated ground, rising above the marshes, scattered throughout the Everglades. They are distinctive areas amongst the marsh that provide havens for the area wildlife and are currently threatened by modern human development.

Garbage mounds left by prehistoric humans might have driven the formation of many of the Florida Everglades' tree islands, distinctive havens of exceptional ecological richness in the sprawling marsh that are today threatened by human development.

Research suggests that the ancient trash heaps, a mix of bones, discarded food, charcoal and artifacts made by humans may have provided a drier and more elevated area in the marsh that allowed vegetation and trees to grow. Additionally, the discarded bones would have produced phosphorus, a nutrient that plants would need, but scarce in that area.

Scientists have thought for many years that the so-called fixed tree islands (a larger type of tree island frequently found in the Everglades' main channel, Shark River Slough) developed on protrusions from the rocky layer of a mineral called carbonate that sits beneath the marsh. Now, new research indicates that the real trigger for island development might have been middens, or trash piles left behind from human settlements that date to about 5,000 years ago. Link, Science Daily

posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 03:39 PM
That is very nice to think of.
but are trash heat will be very toxic.
but in 5000 years some thing will mutate and grow on it.
I hope!

posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 04:08 PM
reply to post by LadySkadi

I disagree.
I believe the everglades were formed at the end of the last ice age when sea levels rose...If that is true.

posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 04:14 PM
reply to post by Bartibog

The Everglades, perhaps. This is actually talking about the Tree Islands, in the Everglades.
Distinct mounds, rising above the marshes.

posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 04:55 PM
The only thing is their trash heaps consisted essentially of nutrients for the soil, bones and food decomp... Not plastic, glass, metal and paper like our trash heaps.

posted on Mar, 21 2011 @ 07:49 PM
Another example highlighting how much humans as a whole, impact our environment. What we have to look at now, is how that impact both positively and negatively impacts the much larger system we are a part of. Humans in the past were responsible for helping to create the environment that sustains these islands, which in turn sustain wildlife in the area. Modern humans in turn, are responsible for putting that environment at risk. So the circle goes...
edit on 21-3-2011 by LadySkadi because: (no reason given)

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