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Book source: Het Bos en de Geschiedenis van Suriname, F.C. Bubberman, OSO, jaargang 7, nummer 2, Dec 1988.

Subject: [Forestry] The Tropical Rain Forest

Article:

Suriname is for some 90% covered with tropical rain forest. This forest is an eco system and a gift from nature. This system is sensitive for any disturbance. The rain forest is part of the Amazone rain forest with some 1000 different kind of trees.

About 8000 years ago men as hunters, food collectors did contribute to this eco system. Later on men began with some primitive agriculture. Some parts of the forest were cut open to start garden plots (kost grondjes). The garden plots began about 3000 years ago and now some tree varieties which needed light to mature had a chance. Examples are the kankantri and kopi. Trees with edible fruits also appeared at more places.

Where men cut open the rain forest for their garden plots (kost grondje) later on secondary forest came into existence from these garden plots. The secondary forest can be distinguished from the primary forest especially from the air. Bamboo bushes are an example where men once started a garden plot. Other examples where men changed the primary forest are the Cordon pad also because of excavations along the path. Gold prospectors also changed the forest.

Swamp forest are very sensitive to changes. The effect can be seen when the ground water level is changed. Amer-indians elevated the soil along the coast for their agriculture. Their presence although centuries ago can still be noted from the air because of the different vegetation.

The plantation system where canals and dams were created changed the landscape. Fires in the dry season could cause catastrophic results as the peat is destroyed. Thus disturbances in the eco system will be visible for many years, ----




Met dank aan Albert Buys










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