Amazonian Dark Earths: Wim Sombroek's Vision

  • William I. Woods
  • Wenceslau G. Teixeira
  • Johannes Lehmann
  • Christoph Steiner
  • Antoinette WinklerPrins
  • Lilian Rebellato

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. WI Woods, WM Denevan
    Pages 1-14
  3. L. Rebellato, WI Woods, EG Neves
    Pages 15-31
  4. SR Bozarth, K Price, WI Woods, EG Neves, R Rebellato
    Pages 85-98
  5. C Steiner, WG Teixeira, WI Woods, W Zech
    Pages 193-204
  6. NPS Falcão, CR Clement, SM Tsai, NB Comerford
    Pages 213-228
  7. J Fairhead, M Leach
    Pages 265-278
  8. SM Tsai, B O'neill, FS Cannavan, D Saito, NPS Falcao, DC Kern et al.
    Pages 299-308
  9. JJ Birk, C Steiner, WC Teixiera, W Zech, B Glaser
    Pages 309-324
  10. DC Kern, M de LP Ruivo, FJL Frazão
    Pages 339-349
  11. M de LP Ruivo, CB do Amarante, M de LS Oliveira, ICM Muniz, DAM dos Santos
    Pages 351-362
  12. TJF Cunha, EH Novotny, BE Madari, L Martin-Neto, MO de O Rezende, LP Canelas et al.
    Pages 363-372
  13. G Van Hofwegen, TW Kuyper, E Hoffland, JA Van den Broek, GA Becx
    Pages 393-409
  14. JW Gaskin, KC Das, AS Tassistro, L Sonon, K Harris, B Hawkins
    Pages 433-443
  15. SM Haefele, C Knoblauch, M Gummert, Y Konboon, S Koyama
    Pages 445-463
  16. Back Matter
    Pages 487-502

About this book


Amazonian soils are almost universally thought of as extremely forbidding. However, it is now clear that complex societies with large, sedentary populations were present for over a millennium before European contact. Associated with these are tracts of anomalously fertile, dark soils termed terra preta or dark earths. These soils are presently an important agricultural resource within Amazonia and provide a model for developing long-term future sustainability of food production in tropical environments. The late Dutch soil scientist Wim Sombroek (1934-2003) was instrumental in bringing the significance of these soils to the attention of the world over four decades ago.
Wim saw not only the possibilities of improving the lives of small holders throughout the world with simple carbon based soil technologies, but was an early proponent of the positive synergies also achieved in regards to carbon sequestration and global climatic change abatement. Wim’s vision was to form a multidisciplinary group whose members maintained the ideal of open collaboration toward the attainment of shared goals. Always encouraged and often shaped by Wim, this free association of international scholars termed the Terra Preta Nova Group came together in 2001 and has flourished. This effort has been defined by enormous productivity. Wim who is never far from any of our minds and hearts, would have loved to share the great experience of seeing the fruits of his vision as demonstrated in this volume.


AgroMicro biodiversity biology ecology environment pedology production soil sustainability

Editors and affiliations

  • William I. Woods
    • 1
  • Wenceslau G. Teixeira
    • 2
  • Johannes Lehmann
    • 3
  • Christoph Steiner
    • 4
  • Antoinette WinklerPrins
  • Lilian Rebellato
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  2. 2.Embrapa Amazônia OcidentalRodoviaBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biological and Agricultural EngineeringBiorefining and Carbon Cycling ProgramUSA

Bibliographic information