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Book Review: Carbon and water cycles, Amazon River Basin. Yves Tardy, Claude Roquin, Vincent Bustillo, Marcelo Moreira, Luiz A. Martinelli and Reynaldo Victoria. Applied Biogeochemistry, Atlantica, Biarritz-France (2009) ISBN 978-2-7588-0256-3

Neal, Colin. 2010 Book Review: Carbon and water cycles, Amazon River Basin. Yves Tardy, Claude Roquin, Vincent Bustillo, Marcelo Moreira, Luiz A. Martinelli and Reynaldo Victoria. Applied Biogeochemistry, Atlantica, Biarritz-France (2009) ISBN 978-2-7588-0256-3. Science of the Total Environment, 408 (8). 2011. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.11.052

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Abstract/Summary

The biogeochemical and ecosystem functioning of the Amazon is of global concern given its size, uniqueness of its flora and fauna, extent to which it affects the Earth’s climate system, and its/our environmental vulnerability. Yet, because of the scale, magnitude and complexity of the underlying physical, chemical and biological processes, understanding the biogeochemical and ecosystem functioning is a daunting task for researchers and decision makers alike, while the implications of the findings inevitably resonate through to the geo-political level and environmentalism’s agendas. This book covers 479 pages of detailed information: 90 figures, 115 tables inserted in the text, appendix tables (69 p.), references (33 p.) and glossary of symbols (9 p.). It is a source book for researchers of the biogeochemistry of Amazon. Therefore, the method described is general and can be easily extended to small or large basins, in all climatic conditions This book examines a strategic component of the Amazon biogeochemical functioning of global significance, carbon and the water cycle. It follows from over twenty years of dedicated hydrogeochemical studies of intensive and extensive collaborations between Brazilian and French researchers and its style is very much like a monograph. The work encompasses an extensive database collected as part of the Camrex-Project in the early 1980s, with subsequent research development and the presentation of key findings (Tardy et al., 2005). Given the complexity of the hydrogeochemistry of the Amazon, there were many aspects that needed to be weaved together. This was done following an introduction as a series of themes dealing with issues of tropical soil genesis (Part 1: geomorphology, hydrology, climate, lithology), sources of aquatic species (Part 2: rock and mineral composition, sources of sulphur and carbon), chemical and mechanical erosion (Part 3: chemical weathering, ablation and mechanical erosion) and aquatic pedology (Part 4: physiology of the river system, hydrograph separation and the carbon cycle). The book culminates in a synthesis chapter dealing with the carbon cycle and climate modelling (Part 5: soil respiration, evaporation together with final balance of carbon fluxes and climate modelling) and a general conclusion. The authors are to be praised for their dedication to researching the Amazon over so many years and for bringing together high quality and leading datasets with a combination of approaches from flux inventories through to isotopic studies and classic as well as contemporary biogeochemical approaches. The book allows a much fuller examination and extension of the Tardy et al (2005) study and appears as a potential and much needed resource for independent research. The work flags the fundamental importance of the water cycle to the carbon cycle as the processes of carbon transport including carbon dioxide production, respiration and usage are intimately linked to rainfall, evaporation/transpiration and the drainage network.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.11.052
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Water > WA02 Quantifying processes that link water quality and quantity, biota and physical environment
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water
CEH Sections: Acreman
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Keywords: book review, Amaxon, carbon, water cycle
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 09 Mar 2010 12:43
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/8690

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