Agriculture

Amazonian Dark Earths: Origin, Properties, Management by Johannes Lehmann, Dirse C. Kern, Bruno Glaser, William I. PDF

By Johannes Lehmann, Dirse C. Kern, Bruno Glaser, William I. Woods

ISBN-10: 1402018398

ISBN-13: 9781402018398

ISBN-10: 1402025971

ISBN-13: 9781402025976

Darkish Earths are a testomony to vanished civilizations of the Amazon Basin, yet can also resolution how huge societies might maintain extensive agriculture in an atmosphere of infertile soils. This ebook examines their starting place, homes, and administration. Questions stay: have been they deliberately produced or a derivative of habitation. extra new and multidisciplinary views via best specialists may perhaps pave the best way for the following revolution in soil administration within the humid tropics.

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Extra info for Amazonian Dark Earths: Origin, Properties, Management

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A section of both soils on the bluff of the Rio Tapajós near Belterra was mapped long ago by Sombroek (1966). ” The stone axe thesis explains why long-term, semi-permanent cultivation could have taken place instead of long-fallow shifting cultivation which does not produce ADE. Frequent organic inputs and in-field burning could have made semi-permanent cultivation possible. The largest known extents of ADE are along the bluffs of the main Amazonian rivers. It is often assumed that riverine settlement in Amazônia was primarily located in the floodplains (várzeas).

During this period European powers were establishing themselves on the lower Amazon. French, Dutch, English, and Portuguese struggled for dominance. Two Dutch forts were established on the lower Xingú in 1599. The Dutch with their Indian allies fought the Portuguese with their Indian allies. By 1625 the Portuguese emerged victorious and extended their slave raiding expeditions up the Amazon. The Tapajós had been subjugated by the 1630s. The Portuguese conquest of the Amazon was nearly complete by the mid 1600s.

However, even very short fallows of a year or two can reduce weeds; hence the likelihood of semi-permanent rather than permanent cultivation – a few years of crops rotating with a few years of bush fallow. This is done today by ADE farmers (German, 2003). Thus pre-European cultivation was probably often, if not usually, more intensive, more productive, than post-contact cultivation. With metal axes available after 1492, meaning a technological revolution, there was apparently an agricultural de- 18 AMAZONIAN DARK EARTHS evolution toward long-fallow shifting cultivation, a simplification, which has continued to the present.

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Amazonian Dark Earths: Origin, Properties, Management by Johannes Lehmann, Dirse C. Kern, Bruno Glaser, William I. Woods


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