How "Virgin" Is Virgin Rainforest?

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Science  16 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5669, pp. 402-403
DOI: 10.1126/science.1093991

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The three largest undisturbed rainforest blocks remaining worldwide are located in the Amazon basin, Congo basin, and the Indo-Malay region of Southeast Asia. In their Perspective, Willis, Gillson, and Brncic discuss a number of recent archaeological and paleoecological studies that reveal disturbance of these tropical rainforests by prehistoric human settlements and their subsequent regeneration once the human populations moved on or died out. The Perspective authors suggest that given sufficient time, tropical rainforests disturbed by modern human activities also may be able to regenerate.