A Floodplain Communitypart 2 (continued)

The picture shown here is of a floodplain community in the general area of the Lower MIddle Amazon. You can see how flat the whole landscape is. In the flood the whole area will be covered in water.

Originally the area would have been covered with forest. A hundred and fifty years ago steam navigation was introduced to the Amazon (History). The wood used to power the ships came from the floodplain forests. Wood was cut by locals and put into deposits ready for a passing ship to stop. More recently deforestation has intensified due to the clearing of land for cattle raising - cattle need pasture. This has altered the eco-system balance and dependence of fish on the fruits and berries from the flooded forest. A very clear outline of the ecology and economy of the floodplain is available in Michael Goulding et al's book Floods of Fortune (Columbia 1996).