Looking for data on soil composition of the Amazon rainforest Options
#1 Posted : 10/5/2019 2:33:13 PM

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Hello friends,

Recently I've been spending a lot of time learning stuff about permaculture (because I fully believe this is the future of sustainability), watching tons of videos on sustainable gardening and efficient methods of making the most of what you have at your immediate disposal, and similar activities.

Here in Bulgaria, we have a very nice gardening forum with a bunch of nice people forming a tight community, and today one of them agreed to take me on his property as a visitor because I asked to see a sustainable garden built on permaculture principles. I was honestly amazed at how well his garden was performing.

He had attended to all permaculture principles and had incorporated incredible biodiversity in his garden. However, he had one enormous ally - the nutrient-rich soil of Bulgaria. The rainforest is a different story though, because of all the rain that pours down yearly. It washes away a big chunk of the soil's nutrients, rendering it quite hostile for newly introduced species that are not part of the local flora.

For that reason, I've set out to find a good set of data that adequately describes the soil composition of the Amazon rainforest (and more specifically for Peru), so I can design an adequate plan of mixing different plants that will extract nitrogen from the surrounding area and enrich the soil with it, rendering it friendlier for other, less durable crops. However, I found out that it's not so easy to get your hands on such a paper, and that's why I'm asking for help from you.

If anyone has access to such data, regardless of its format, and it's current and relevant, I would be infinitely grateful if they share it with me! Based on that, and the future outcome of the plan I'll apply in practice, I can and will create a sort of guide on permaculture in such an environment if I succeed that is. Or if I conclude I'm not experienced or successful enough to create a guide, per se, I'll just help others understand what NOT to do, and why!

Having in mind how rich the Amazon's ethnobotany is in entheogens, I think that being able to create a sustainable, properly functioning garden there that incorporates those beautiful, mysterious teacher plants will be extremely appealing to a lot of you. Smile

Thanks a lot!
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#2 Posted : 11/3/2019 8:51:48 PM
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#3 Posted : 12/10/2019 3:33:27 AM

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One of the misconceptions about tropical rainforest soils is that they are comparable to temperate zone soils. Organics do not build up as humus in the rainforest. Rather nutrient uptake from fallen leaves and such occurs almost immediately. The nutrients in a rainforest are effectively stored in the canopy, not is the soil. This is why slash and burn farming practices are so destructive. The sudden nutrient availability from burning a section of rainforest provides enough nutrients for only a few growing seasons until it is exhausted. Once it can no longer grow crops it is turned into range for cattle and the land basically is permanently damaged.

If you've been in a tropical rainforest you may have noticed that there is often just a thin layer of duff and right below that is a reddish clay called laterite. Not much soil in between.
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