Download Amazonian Dark Earths: Explorations in Space and Time by William I. Woods, Bruno Glaser (auth.), Dr. Bruno Glaser, PDF

By William I. Woods, Bruno Glaser (auth.), Dr. Bruno Glaser, Professor William I. Woods (eds.)

The regenerative features pointed out in prehistoric, anthropogenic Amazonian darkish earths recommend that notoriously infertile tropical soils could be significantly enhanced. Soil enhancement practices via historical Amerindians allowed them to domesticate the land intensively, with no need to repeatedly transparent new fields from wooded area. As expanding populations position ever larger strain on tropical forests, this legacy of wealthy, 'living' soils warrants additional research within the look for high-yield, land-intensive, but sustainable kinds of administration. The foreign crew of individuals to this quantity offers various stances centering on elements of the foundation, distribution, variability, patience, and use of Amazonian darkish earths.

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Sample text

L. FRAZÄO occurred during the Quaternary. The source materials for this soil were the clayey, silty, and sandy sediments which correspond to the Alter do Chäo formation of Cretaceous age, subsequently lateritized. These sediments were derived from sedimentary rocks and had been submitted to intense leaching; as a consequence, they are depleted in Ca, Mg, P, Zn, and Mn and show elevated levels of Fe and Al oxides and kaolinitic silicate clay minerals. The Latosols are well developed in the higher parts of the locallandscape, coinciding with the places chosen for living by man in prehistoric times.

It was understood that terra A Geographical Method for Anthrosol Characterization in Amazonia 31 firme agriculture, for example, was limited to shifting cultivation systems due to the need to derive nutrients from the plant biomass through the burn in the absence of nutrient-rich soils (Meggers 1971). Other authors claimed that proteinwas the strongest limiting factor for human occupants, due to the low productivity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and the absence of proteinrich crops (Meggers 1971; Gross 1975).

The total amount of phosphorus accumulated in any archaeological site in relation to that found in unmodified soils is therefore a good indication of the net sum of nutrients added to the soil through time, and therefore, too, of the relative importance of the site to human settlement through time. If it were possible to determine with precision the total amount of phosphorus deposited in an archaeological site, this would doubtless be the best indicator of anthropogenic impacts on the soil at any given site.

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