Tropical woodlands are the lungs of ours planet. 95% of all tree-based carbon sequestration wake up in the tropics, primarily in between both 15° northern and 15° southern latitudes from the equator. The substantial forests that Canada, Russia and also Scandinavia and also other pleasant zones only account because that 5% of tree-based carbon capture. This method that the decline of tropical woodlands is a large cause that climate change. Many studies present that tropic deforestation emits greenhouse gases (GHG) and may well be the leading reason of desertification of the Earth. All trees play important roles in remove CO2 indigenous the atmosphere, but likewise other dangerous contaminants. They help hold ground water and thanks come the procedure of transpiration are an essential for cloud seeding and the maintenance of global rainfall patterns. Needless come say, forests additionally account for 90% that terrestrial biodiversity, do them vital habitats because that life on our planet.

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However, planting trees, specifically tropical trees, involves more than just sticking a seedling in the ground. Dry soils are regularly poor and also acidic, in large part due to millennia of torrential rains that have actually leached the nutrients and organic product out the the soil, a procedure called lixiviation. Because that example, the grasslands of east Colombia (llanos orientales) and also Venezuela have soils that are greatly composed that sand, ferrous oxide gravels and also some clay. Comparable conditions exist in huge parts the Brazil and also in the Amazon basin. This is why Amazon deforestation is such a vast problem: bad people cut down tree to grow subsistence crops, collect one harvest and also then find that the floor is depleted, for this reason they repeat the process, cutting down more rainforest. Unfortunately, this is the meaning of insanity, doing the exact same thing over and over again, expecting different results each time.


I don’t want to boring you, but it is necessary to understand two crucial issues involving tropical soils. The very first issue is acidity, measure up in a logarithmic scale from 1 to 14, v a pH below 7 being acidic, while a pH end 7 is alkaline. Logarithmic means that each number ~ above the scale is one of two people 10 times an ext acidic or 10 times more alkaline than the vault number. A pH of 7 is thought about neutral and is the worth of pure water. Many plants do an extremely well in neutral soils. However, the majority of tropical soils are acidic, which means that aboriginal trees and plants have had to adapt to acidic soil conditions. Because that example, the floor at La Pedregoza in the Orinoco River basin of Colombia has actually an median pH that 5.9, definition it is 11 times more acidic than pure water. The traditional agricultural solution to soil acidity is to dump loads of lime on the soil, in bespeak to attain a more neutral pH, without regard come the cost or the damages done to microfauna.


The second issue is something called the cation exchange capacity or CEC that the soil. Because that simplicity’s benefits this is best described together the capacity of the floor to maintain nutrients, be that organic material, microfauna or fertilizers. CEC is measure on a scale of 0 to 50, v 0 gift soil the has complete filtration or lixiviation of any kind of nutrients, make for quick drainage through no retention of any kind of kind. In contrast, soil v a CEC that 50 is solid absent or clay, which does not permit for drainage, resulting in plants and their roots to drown. In the instance of dry soils the bulk have a very low CEC. Because that example, the average effective CEC that soils at La Pedregoza is approximately 1, for this reason pretty much total filtration of the soil with very little retention that nutrients, organic product or microfauna. This describes why rainforest tree are finish recyclers, illustration the bulk of their demands from the atmosphere and from the deadfall of leaves, branches and also other organic issue inside the forest. They have very little dependence top top the floor for your food requirements. Now you know why rainforest deforestation in the tropics produces together poor agricultural results.

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In part 2 the this collection of articles, ns will attend to the many promising equipment to the nutrient retention and acidity problem in tropic soils. The solution has actually positive effects for carbon sequestration, plant nutrition, enhanced agricultural and agroforestry production, is financially sustainable and has substantial socio-economic breakthrough benefits in tropical regions. That is likewise 100% organic and also natural, without any kind of chemical or synthetic elements.

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