In Amazonia, human activities that occurred hundreds of years ago in the pre-European era can leave long-lasting effects on the forests – termed ecological legacies. These legacies include the intentional or nonintentional enrichment or depletion of certain species. The persistence of these legacies through time varies by species and creates complex long-term trajectories of post-disturbance succession that affects ecosystem processes for hundreds of years. Most of our knowledge of Amazonian biodiversity and carbon storage comes from a series of several hundred forest plots, and we only know the disturbance history of four of them. More empirical data are needed to determine the degree to which past human activities and their ecological legacies affect our current understanding of Amazonian forest ecology.