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3.3 Amazonia

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Amazonia (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela)


 

Review of this Natural pools

The Spanish Explorer Francisco de Orellana was the first European to explore the Amazon River in 1542. It departed from Cuzco, in Peru in 1541, then founded the city of Santiago de Guayaquil in Ecuador which was Governor; by call of Gonzalo Pizarro, who had gone in search of the country of cinnamon, traveled to Quito where at the end of such year part on the Napo River, reaching its mouth in the Peru current, near the present city of Iquitos, until in August 1542 reached the mouth of the Amazon into the Atlantic Ocean. The first ski lift of the Amazon River by a European was in 1638 by Pedro Teixeira, Portuguese, who reversed the route of Orellana and reached Quito via the Napo River. He returned in 1639 with the Jesuit fathers Acuna and Artieda, delegates from the viceroy of Peru to accompany Texeira. Likewise, Orellana said the area was densely populated, suggesting population levels that exceed even those presented today. While it is possible that Orellana has overstated the level of development of the Amazon, their semi-nomadic descendants have the strange peculiarity among primitive societies of a hereditary aristocracy, but without land, a historical anomaly for a society without a sedentary agrarian culture. This suggests that these cultures were previously agrarian societies more civilized but, after the demographic catastrophe in America after the arrival of the Europeans in the centuries XVI and XVII, reverted to less complex modes of existence while maintaining certain traditions. In addition, many indigenous peoples were forced to adapt to a nomadic life to protect themselves from colonialism. This could make less attractive some benefits of terra preta, such as its self-renewing capacity, since the farmers had to move to be sure. "Slash and burn" could then have been an adaptation to these conditions. Unfortunately the jungles have been thinning and indiscriminate felling since ancient times and their destruction has skyrocketed in the last 400 years, which is rapidly shrinking its area all over the world. In the 1990s, it is estimated that there was an annual reduction of 58,000 km². 14% Of the Earth's surface was covered by primary forests, today, this percentage has been reduced just 6% and at the current rate of deforestation, these will have disappeared around the year 2050. Primary forests are replaced by secondary vegetation of rapid growth but lower-value from the point of view of the conservation of ecosystems. Biologists believe that large number of species are still doomed to extinction - possibly more than 50,000 a year - due to the Elimination of their habitat. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Manaus lived intensely the so-called rubber fever. Considered the Brazilian city developed and among the most prosperous in the world, Manaus was the only city in the country to have electric light and water pipes and sewer drain system. The heyday of the rubber cycle occurred between 1890 and 1920, time in which the city enjoyed technologies that other cities in the South of Brazil still lacked, as electric trams, avenues built on marshes, and luxurious, and impressive buildings as Teatro Amazonas, the Government Palace, the Municipal market and the Customs House. The herbaceous stratum is usually scarce in the jungle, since the thick vegetable canopy forming different levels of trees prevents the sun light reach the ground. On the contrary, if a clearing opens, the soil is rapidly colonized by a dense tangle of shrubs and trees in fast-growing jungle, forming the pioneer vegetation.

Geographical aspects



Map of the Amazon rainforest according to WWF: the yellow line encloses the Amazon jungle, while national borders are highlighted in black. NASA satellite image. The Venezuelan Amazon and the guyanas are not within the line because they do not belong to the Amazon River basin.


Rainforest in the Amazon near Manaus (Brazil).


Tropical environment of the Amazon rainforest.

The Spanish Explorer Francisco de Orellana was the first European to explore the Amazon River in 1542. He went by call of Gonzalo Pizarro, who had gone in search of the country of cinnamon from Quito at the end of that year, advances on the Napo River, reaching its mouth in the Peru current, near the present city of Iquitos, until in August 1542 reached the mouth of the Amazon into the Atlantic Ocean. The first ski lift of the Amazon River by a European was in 1638 by Pedro Teixeira, Portuguese, who reversed the route of Orellana and reached Quito via the Napo River. He returned in 1639 with the Jesuit fathers Acuna and Artieda, delegates from the viceroy of Peru to accompany Texeira.

Likewise, Orellana said the area was densely populated, suggesting population levels that exceed even those presented today. While it is possible that Orellana has overstated the level of development of the Amazon, their semi-nomadic descendants have the strange peculiarity among primitive societies of a hereditary aristocracy, but without land, a historical anomaly for a society without a sedentary agrarian culture.

This suggests that these cultures were previously agrarian societies more civilized but, after the demographic catastrophe in America after the arrival of the Europeans in the centuries XVI and XVII, reverted to less complex modes of existence while maintaining certain traditions. In addition, many indigenous peoples were forced to adapt to a nomadic life to protect themselves from colonialism. This could make less attractive some benefits of terra preta, such as its self-renewing capacity, since the farmers had to move to be sure. "Slash and burn" could then have been an adaptation to these conditions.

Unfortunately the jungles have been thinning and indiscriminate felling since ancient times and their destruction has skyrocketed in the last 400 years, which is rapidly shrinking its area all over the world. In the 1990s, it is estimated that there was an annual reduction of 58,000 km². 14% Of the Earth's surface was covered by primary forests, today, this percentage has been reduced just 6% and at the current rate of deforestation, these will have disappeared around the year 2050. Primary forests are replaced by secondary vegetation of rapid growth but lower-value from the point of view of the conservation of ecosystems. Biologists believe that large number of species are still doomed to extinction - possibly more than 50,000 a year - due to the Elimination of their habitat.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Manaus lived intensely the so-called rubber fever. Considered the Brazilian city developed and among the most prosperous in the world, Manaus was the only city in the country to have electric light and water pipes and sewer drain system. The heyday of the rubber cycle occurred between 1890 and 1920, time in which the city enjoyed technologies that other cities in the South of Brazil still lacked, as electric trams, avenues built on marshes, and luxurious, and impressive buildings as Teatro Amazonas, the Government Palace, the Municipal market and the Customs House.

The herbaceous stratum is usually scarce in the jungle, since the thick vegetable canopy forming different levels of trees prevents the sun light reach the ground. On the contrary, if a clearing opens, the soil is rapidly colonized by a dense tangle of shrubs and trees in fast-growing jungle, forming the pioneer vegetation.

The plants produce biomass through photosynthesis, which is the process by which sunlight provides enough energy to transform, carbon dioxide and minerals and water the soil or the atmosphere, carbohydrate, which are the raw material that humans use to feed, grow and reproduce. In the process of photosynthesis is released free oxygen that mostly goes into the air or water, by photosynthesis in aquatic plants.

It has been estimated that 28% of the oxygen that consume the living beings on our planet comes from the tropical jungles. The rest comes from other vegetation that exist in the world. Most of the oxygen released by plants comes from phytoplankton, i.e. plant matter existing in the seas to the depth where the Sun's rays reach. Among aquatic plants are the largest biomass existing in nature. The balance of CO2 and O2 in the Amazon without disturbing is practically neutral. The jungle contains an enormous amount of biomass and converts the CO2 from the atmosphere in foods, i.e. in carbohydrates that form the basis of this biomass. It is estimated around 28% of the oxygen produced and used on Earth coming from these plant spaces.

Long-term and on a global scale, the balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen levels tends to be fairly stable for the absorption of carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide, is much greater in the jungles of what is thought ([3]).

The wood-Mamore railway, built between 1907 and 1912 in the State of Rondônia, also known as Devil's rail because of the thousands of deaths during its construction, the last stretch of the railway, was opened with the arrival of the first train to the city of Guajará-Mirim, founded on the same date. The railway had as main purpose transport production of rubber from Bolivia and Brazil to the port of Belém.

The railway line was partially disabled in the 1930s and completely disabled in 1972. He returned to work in 1981 in a stretch of just seven kilometers from the original total 364 and solely for tourist purposes. The areas most affected by deforestation are the Amazon in South America and the monsoon Asia, especially Indonesia and Malaysia

Ecosystem



Bank of the rio Negro (Amazon), to the West of the city of Manaus.

The Amazon rainforest is developed around the Amazon River and its river basin. High temperatures favor the development of a dense vegetation and lush, Evergreen. The title of the lung of the planet which holds the Amazon is no coincidence, since it keeps a climate balance: revenues and outputs of CO2 and O2 are balanced. Environmental scientists agree that the loss of biodiversity is the result of the destruction of the rainforest, and which is evidenced with the appearance in the area of the Caquetá river to a previous system jungle forest in which soils were used permanently "dark land" thanks to its progressive payment and by what thus avoided migration.



Uakari.

All the flora of South American tropical rainforest is present in the Amazon rainforest. There are innumerable plant species still unclassified, thousands of species of birds, numerous amphibious and millions of insects in it.

The Peruvian Amazon is one of the richest biological of the world regions, as the presence of different altitudinal which has in its union with the Cordillera de los Andes, causes lots of particular environments and, therefore, a high rate of endemism.

Fauna

Among the mammals, the Amazon has enormous number of species, highlighting the monkeys, jaguar, puma, tapir and deer. Two dolphin species, highlighting the pink Dolphin live in its waters.

Are Reptiles such as many species of aquatic and terrestrial turtles, caimans, crocodiles, and multitude of snakes, including the anaconda - the largest snake in the world-, etc.

There are no other ecosystem in the world with much of bird species; These include macaws, toucans, great Eagles as the Eagle Harpy, and countless other species, generally colorful plumage. 20% Of the world species of birds found in the Amazon rainforest.

Fans to the Aquarium, is the source that provides the greatest amount of fish species that now inhabit the shops and aquariums in the world. It is so large their contribution in species of fish that list them is a lot.

Flora and vegetation

20% Of the world species of plants found in the Amazon rainforest. In the lagoons along the Amazon River flowers plant Victoria amazonica, whose leaves circular reach over one meter in diameter.

Deforestation


Satellite image of deforestation in the State of Mato Grosso (Brazil).

Reports from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) indicate that the rapid growth in sales of Brazilian beef, has accelerated the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.
Jeremy Rifkin, President of the Foundation of economic trends said in an interview that "we are destroying the Amazon to feed cows".

On April 6, 2006 Greenpeace International submitted the report devouring the Amazon, which talks about the deforestation that is occurring in the Amazon for soybean crops and how that soy has just being exported for the feeding of cattle that just serving food in supermarkets and fast food chains.
E9 Greenpeace Internacional presented the report impact of livestock in the Amazon, which draws a map of the grazing areas of the Brazilian Amazon in the State of Mato Grosso to identify deforested sites currently used for livestock purposes and compare them with those aimed at crops.

Human and economic geography

The main South American feature is the great imbalance in their demographic distribution. While the vast majority is concentrated on the coast, huge parts of the interior are practically uninhabited. Another feature of the South American subcontinent, is its high rate of urban population: three of every four Latin Americans live in a city. Peruvian, Colombian and Brazilian, Amazon does not escape this reality; the majority of inhabitants of the Amazon region are concentrated in cities at the bottom of the Amazon River: Iquitos, Leticia, Manaus and Belém do Pará. Most of the residents are settlers and their descendants, of white, mestizo and indigenous origin.
The main economic activities that occur in the Amazon River and its region are exporting to worldwide, rubber and wood. Fishing is also paramount in the Amazon territory, presented several exports of fish to the region, in general the Pirarocu.La agriculture and export of foods, such as cassava, plantain and corn and fruits typical of the region, as the Cupuaçu, Carambola, Araza, Asai among others; they are part of the wide variety of foods produced by this region. Advantages of conserving the Amazon rainforest. -Supply of oxygen and CO2 assimilation. -It retains too much water. -It has great biodiversity. -Cultural diversity.

Integration

  • Missing a joint decision from the Amazon called countries, aimed to make a rational use of natural resources and water.
  • There are bilateral policies such as the Peru and the Ecuador case.
  • During the last few years have been built roads from Peru to Brazil with the plan of uniting two major maritime basins, but crossing by the mere Amazon.

Amazonian languages


Old water from the outskirts of Iquitos using his Blowgun (pukana).

From the cultural point of view the Amazon is one of the most diverse regions of the planet. The indigenous peoples of the region belong to different linguistic groups, among which a clear phylogenetic relationship, has not been tested which suggests that both cultural diversity as a Linguistics dates back to thousands of years ago. This diversity could be, in part because unlike other regions where since old existed important Empires, in this region not existed sufficiently long-lasting State societies to have a leveling effect on the cultural and linguistic level. The major linguistic groups in the region are:
  • Language Tupi, is the currently most widespread family of indigenous languages in the region, although part of its expansion within the region could occur in a recent period.
  • Languages ye or ge, after the language tupi is the most extended family in the Amazon region.
  • Caribbean languages, is a family that probably expanded from the Northern Amazon, although there are members of this linguistic family in the middle of the Amazon.
  • Arawak languages, is a family located basically in the region itself circunamazonica.
  • Languages cloth-tacana, Amazon southwestern.
In addition to these linguistic phylogenetic units there are a significant number of small language families that not have failed to be conveniently linked with these and therefore are considered independent groups.

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