Green Guide

How ‘virgin’ are our planet’s rain forests? Charcoal-find echoes

costa rica forest

Humans known for their notorious deeds just to make their selfish ends meet, has been mercilessly and indiscriminately plundering the planet’s resources. Here is another astounding evidence of human perditions – that they have widely burned the Costa Rica’s forests.

And for a rainforest to overcome such devastation and re-grow to another pristine green lash, it takes 170 years! And, a new study has discovered evidence of charcoal in the region’s tropical forests.

This along with documentation of soil charcoal’s presence at every surveyed forest site from sea level to the Costa Rican highlands clearly suggests that the otherwise ‘virgin’ tropical forests are less than 200 years old.

This is uncovered by radiocarbon dating of montane forest soils in Costa Rica. Thus, the naturally-caused forest fires along with human presence imply the Costa Rica’s tropical forests’ multiple recovery from extensive burns.

The find of maize pollen in these studies sites shows what the humans have turned the tropical forests to!

The practice of maize cultivation over the past 7,000 years thus, reveals the extent and the time for which human populations in Central America may have been exploiting and modifying the tropical forests’ original character.

So, can we conclude that no rain forest is more than 200 years old and none could retain their original character, especially with changing climes?


Dr Prem Jagyasi and Team

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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