Soil redistribution in abandoned raised fields in French Guiana assessed by radionuclides
Pfahler, V; Glaser, B; McKey, D; Klemt, E
Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 178(3): 468-476
ISSN/ISBN: 1436-8730 DOI: 10.1002/jpln.201400279
Pre-Columbian agricultural raised fields are widespread in Neotropical wetlands. Many seasonally flooded coastal savannahs of French Guiana are dotted with thousands of small, round mounds, which current research indicates are vestiges of raised fields. It is surprising that these elevated structures persist under the erosive force of heavy tropical rainfall. One hypothesis for this stability is that "engineer" organisms such as plants, earthworms, termites and ants colonize abandoned raised fields and maintain the raised structures against erosion.