By Carl F. Jordan (auth.), Carl F. Jordan (eds.)
DEVELOPMENT AND DISTURBANCE IN AMAZON FORESTS Contrasting Impressions 6 2 The rain forests of the Amazon Basin conceal nearly 5.8 x 10 km (Salati and Vose 1984). Flying over even simply a part of this basin, one gazes hour after hour upon this likely endless blanket of eco-friendly. The effect of immen sity is identical whilst considered from the Amazon River itself, or from its tributar ies. From a hammock at the shaded deck of a riverboat, the immensity of the woodland offers a massive monotony as one view of the coastline blends unnoticeably into one other. From either views, the overpowering response to the ocean of timber that stretches from horizon to horizon is a feeling of the vastness of the rain woodland. In September 1985, I received a unique impact of the rain woodland. a number of scholars and that i journeyed in a self-propelled automobile alongside the single-track railroad that stretches virtually a thousand km from the Carajas iron ore mine within the rain woodland of Para nation, Brazil, all of the solution to Sao Luis at the coast (Fig. 1.1).
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Extra resources for Amazonian Rain Forests: Ecosystem Disturbance and Recovery
Diversity data therefore suggest that the 80-year-old stands have almost completely recovered to the value of the mature forest. However, when the type of species is considered, it becomes evident that recovery to primary forest is still far from complete. Of the 22 most important J. G. 2. Cumulative number of species larger than lO-cm dbh in stands of similar age. All stands were sampled with three 300-m2 plots. 60-yr stands o BO-yr stands • mature stands 60 m C1l 50 "0 C1l a. ) 10 0 2 3 4 Number of stands species as determined by importance values in the 80-year-old and the mature forest stands, only seven species were found in both communities.
Q. 30 0 en -... 5 4 . 5 Age ~ i' 0 . 5 1. 5. Stocks of "available" (extractable) phosphorus in the soil of mature rain forest (FC), pasture formed from mature forest (PM), and pasture formed from I5-year regrowth forest (PR) in the Amazon Territory of Venezuela. Productivity per hectare was much lower than the average annualliveweight gains commonly reported in the agronomic literature for tropical pastures (Vicente-Chandler et al. 1964, Vicente-Chandler 1974, Stewart 1970). Yields of 149 kg/haJyr live weight were reported by Toledo and Morales (1979), and 900-1120 kg/haJyr by Teitzel et al.
5). Part of that increase probably came from phosphorus bound in the slash, and part from solubilization of phosphorus bound in the soil. After a year in pasture, levels in the soil quickly decreased (Fig. 5). Decline of soluble phosphorus in the soil is probably the most important factor resulting in declining pasture production in the Amazon (Serrao et al. 1979). 5. c ""- 300 300 E 200 200 Cl ~ ::l 90 60 "iii III to '0 a. 3. Standing stocks of potassium in plant biomass, detritus, and soil of undisturbed, mature rain forest (FC); pasture formed from mature forest (PM); and pasture formed from 15-year regrowth forest (PR) in the Amazon Territory of Venezuela.
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