Amazon Sweet Sea: Land, Life, and Water at the River's Mouth

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University of Texas Press, 2002 - Nature - 281 pages
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Far into the Atlantic Ocean, the outflow from the Amazon River creates a "sweet sea" of fresh water. At the river's mouth, a vast delta of river channels and marshes, floodplain and upland forests, open and scrub savannas, floating meadows, and mangrove swamps hosts an astonishingly diverse assemblage of plant and animal life. So rich is this biological treasure house that early European explorers deemed it inexhaustible.

In this highly readable book, Nigel Smith explores how human use of the Amazon estuary's natural resources has been affected by technological change, rapid urban growth, and accelerated market integration. Avoiding alarmist rhetoric, he shows how human intervention in the estuary has actually diversified agriculture and helped save floodplain forests from wanton destruction. His findings underscore the importance of understanding the history of land use and the ecological knowledge of local people when formulating development and conservation policies. The book will be of interest to everyone concerned with the fate of tropical forests, conserving biodiversity, and developing natural resources in a sustainable manner.

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Amazon sweet sea: land, life, and water at the river's mouth

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Scholar and field scientist Smith (geography, Univ. of Florida; The Amazon River Forest) has been studying the Amazon for more than 30 years. He describes his latest effort as a wide-reaching attempt ... Read full review


Fishing and Plants in the RiverSea
The Hunt between Land and Water

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About the author (2002)

Nigel J. H. Smith is Professor and Chair of Geography at the University of Florida.

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