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Spread far and wide across Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana and Suriname is the world’s largest tropical rainforest at 5,500,000 km² (2,123,562 sq mi) with many species of wildlife and some . are still undiscovered. In 2009, it was even included in the list of new seven wonders of nature. Not only as a pristine rainforest, but due to the diversity of flora and fauna, climate and its vastness, it occupies a very important place among the most beautiful places found. on the ground. Remember, this is a living laboratory, a rich store of carbon and a reservoir of oxygen, and it is our highest priority to protect it.
It is believed that the name Amazon comes from the war that Francisco de Orellana waged with the Tapuyas tribe and other tribes from South America. The women of the tribe fought alongside the men, as was the custom throughout the tribe. Orellana derived the name Amazonas from the ancient Amazons of Asia and Africa described by Herodotus and Diodorus in Greek legends.
The rainforest must have formed during the Eocene. It must have formed after a global decrease in tropical temperatures, when the Atlantic Ocean widened enough to provide the warm and humid climate of the Amazon basin. It must have existed as it is for about 55 million years since its formation, mostly without Savannah-type biomes. As the climate became drier, the Savannah spread widely.
The extinction of the dinosaurs and a wetter climate may have allowed the tropical rainforest to spread across the continent. Between 65-34 Mya, the rainforest extended as far south as 45°. Climate fluctuations over the past 34 million years have allowed savannah areas to expand into the tropics. For example, during the Oligocene, the rainforest covered a relatively narrow strip that lay mostly above 15° north latitude. It expanded again during the Middle Miocene, then contracted to a largely inland formation at the Last Glacial Maximum. However, the rainforest still thrived during these glacial periods, allowing a wide variety of species to survive and evolve.
During the Middle Eocene, the Amazon Basin is believed to have been split along the center of the continent by the Pura Arc. Water on the east side flowed to the Atlantic, while water to the west flowed to the Pacific via the Amazon Basin. However, as the Andes rose, a large basin formed, enclosing the lake; now known as the Solimões Basin. During the last 5-10 million years, this accumulated water broke through the Pur Arch and merged with the easterly flow towards the Atlantic.
There is evidence that there have been significant changes in the vegetation of the Amazon rainforest over the past 21,000 years since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and subsequent deglaciation. Analyzes of sediments from paleolakes of the Amazon Basin and the Amazon Fan suggest that rainfall in the basin during the LGM was lower than at present, and this was almost certainly related to a reduction in humid tropical vegetation cover in the basin. However, there are doubts about how extensive this reduction was. Some scientists argue that the rainforest was reduced to small isolated sanctuaries separated by open forest and grasslands, and other scientists argue that the rainforest remained largely intact but extended less far north, south and east than seen today. This has proven difficult to resolve, as the practical limitations of working in the rainforest mean that the data sampling is biased away from the center of the Amazon basin, and both explanations are fairly well supported by the available data.
Based on archaeological evidence from excavations at Caverna da Pedra Pintada, human inhabitants first settled in the Amazon region at least 11,200 years ago. Subsequent developments led to late prehistoric settlement along the edge of the forest around 1250 AD, causing changes in forest cover. Biologists believe that a population density of 0.2 inhabitants per square kilometer (0.52/sq mi) is the maximum that can be maintained in the rainforest through hunting. Agriculture is therefore needed to host a larger population.
About 5 to 7 million people lived in the Amazon region, divided between dense coastal settlements such as Marajó and inland residents. These landlocked people were long believed to be sparsely populated tribes of hunters and gatherers. Archaeologist Betty J. Meggers has been a prominent proponent of this idea, as she describes it in her book Amazonia: Man and Culture in a Counterfeit Paradise. However, recent archaeological finds indicate that the region was indeed densely populated.
One of the main evidences is the existence of fertile Terra preta (black earth), which is spread over large areas in the Amazon rainforest. It is now widely accepted that these soils are the product of domestic land management. The development of this land allowed agriculture and forestry in a previously hostile environment; meaning that large parts of the Amazon rainforest are likely the result of centuries of human management, rather than naturally occurring as previously thought. In the area of the Xinguanos tribe, the remains of some of these large settlements were found in the middle of the Amazon rainforest in 2003 by Michael Heckenberger and colleagues at the University of Florida. Among them was evidence of roads, bridges and large squares.
As we all know, the Amazon rainforest is amazingly rich in flora and fauna. Discussing its wildlife, one can find many species of native and indigenous species of frogs such as: the giant leaf frog, birds such as the scarlet macaw and up to 2.5 million species of insects. It is home to 40,000 plant species, 3,000 fish, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians and 378 reptiles. In Brazil alone, scientists have described between 96,660 and 128,843 species of invertebrates.
One square kilometer (247 acres) of Amazon rainforest can contain about 90,790 metric tons of living plants. The average plant biomass is estimated at 356 ± 47 tons ha−1. To date, an estimated 438,000 species of plants of economic and social interest have been registered in the region, and many more remain to be discovered or cataloged. The area of green leaves of plants and trees in the rainforest varies by about 25% due to seasonal changes. The leaves expand during the dry season, when sunlight is at its maximum, and then undergo abscission during the cloudy period. These changes provide a balance of carbon between photosynthesis and respiration. Among the largest predatory creatures are the black caiman, jaguar, puma and anaconda. In the river, electric eels can deliver an electric shock that can stun or kill, while piranhas have been known to bite and injure people. Various species of poisonous frogs secrete lipophilic alkaloid toxins through their flesh. There are also many parasites and disease carriers. Vampire bats live in the rainforest and can spread the rabies virus. Malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever can also be contracted in the Amazon region.
Farmers near the Amazon rainforest used to grow crops by manipulating the forest area. Since the nutrient content of the forest soil is surprisingly low (this is because the Amazon rainforest is a highly active ecosystem and its gross primary productivity is high), farmers continue to deforest the area for cultivation. Between 1991 and 2000, the total area of forest lost in the Amazon rose from 415,000 to 587,000 square kilometers (160,000 to 227,000 sq mi), with most of the lost forest becoming cattle pasture. 70% of formerly forested land in the Amazon and 91% of land deforested since 1970 is used for livestock grazing. In addition, Brazil is currently the world’s second largest producer of soybeans after the United States. The needs of soy farmers have been used to validate many of the controversial transport projects currently being developed in the Amazon. The first two highways successfully opened up the rainforest and led to increased settlement and deforestation. Average annual deforestation rate from 2000 to 2005 (22,392 km2 [8,646 sq mi] per year) was 18% higher than in the previous five years (19,018 km2 [7,343 sq mi] per year). Since 2004, deforestation has decreased significantly in the Brazilian Amazon.
As a result of deforestation, environmentalists fear a loss of biodiversity as well as the release of carbon, which could eventually increase global warming. Amazonian evergreen forests account for about 10% of the world’s primary terrestrial productivity and 10% of ecosystem carbon stocks, on the order of 1.1 × 1011 metric tons of carbon. Between 1975 and 1996, Amazonian forests are estimated to have accumulated 0.62 ± 0.37 tons of carbon per hectare per year. Some fear that the forest will be unsustainable due to greenhouse gas emissions and will be completely lost by 2100 at this rate.
From 2002 to 2006, preserved land in the Amazon rainforest nearly tripled and deforestation rates fell by up to 60%. About 1,000,000 square kilometers (250,000,000 acres) were dedicated to some kind of conservation, totaling a current area of 1,730,000 square kilometers (430,000,000 acres).
The basin is drained by the Amazon River, the largest river in the world in terms of flow and the second longest river in the world after the Nile. The river consists of more than 1,100 tributaries, 17 of which are over 1,000 miles long and two of which (Negro and Madeira) are larger in volume than the Congo River (formerly the Zaire). The river system is the savior of the forest and its history plays an important role in the development of the rainforest. It spans the borders of eight countries and one overseas territory, is the world’s largest river basin and the source of one fifth of all free-flowing fresh water on Earth. Its rainforests are the largest and most lush on the planet and are home to – amazingly – one in ten known species on Earth.
More than 350 indigenous and ethnic groups have lived in the Amazon for thousands of years, using nature for agriculture, clothing and traditional medicine. Today, more than 30 million people live in the region. Although most live in large urban centers, all residents remain dependent on Amazon ecosystem services for food, shelter, and livelihoods. For the indigenous people, the Amazon rainforest is important because it is their home and their culture is closely related to the forest, rivers and fauna. If you destroy the forest, you also destroy all the original inhabitants that are left. Some of the tribes in the Amazon have not yet had contact with outside cultures. Can we destroy the indigenous way of life? People lived happily for thousands of years. Humanity will lose its language, art, stories and also its knowledge.
The destruction of the forest has led to many dangerous conditions that have affected not only the forest, but every inch of the planet. We consider Mother Earth as one whole that is constantly working and building, and every living species has an ecological niche in its ecosystem. As the largest rainforest in the world, absorbing most of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere and major watersheds, as well as recycling water, we have a responsibility for the Amazon. Its protection, preservation and sustainable use will lead to the prosperity of every living thing on Earth, including humanity. Its uniqueness, which amazes the whole world, will otherwise be lost for good. Scientists and botanists and different types of professionals who enter this big green enclosure discover something new every day, and imagine that most of the pills and medicines we use come from the Amazon. It is a reserve of healing herbs and truly a gift from God. Visit it, admire its beauty and join in raising awareness to save it for the world to come.
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