[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: Amazon

On Thu, 19 Aug 1999, Ed Street wrote:

> Uhm,  if someone collects plants from the amazon that has the same plant
> in there aquarium then WHY would they want to do that? that would just
> help encourage destruction of the ecosystem.

The Amazon is big.  Really really big.  I mean, you just won't beleive how
vastly, hugely, mind-numbingly big it is... [apologies to Douglas Adams]

The ecosystem in the Amazon is being destroyed by people chopping down and
leveling pieces of the rainforest for farming and logging.  Aquarium
plants (and frankly, fish for that matter) are MINISCULE compared to that.

We're talking about (on our trip, for instance) 12 specimens of plant
matter that when stuffed in a blender and turned into a nutritious green
drink would probably amount to less than 1/4 cup total volume.

It's also not really an industry. There are not hoards of locals making a
buck a day catching Echinodorus horemanii with cyanide.  The people
collecting are mostly the researchers from the gardens, looking for new
species (there's a nice article on the Tropica web site about their
collecting trips).

Why do it?  In some cases, it's not a plant one already has in the tank,
and in some cases it's the possibility of introducing a little wild DNA
into a mix that has been reproduced by propagation over and over and
over...  we got some great frogbit that is probably a different species
than the domestic stuff you buy at the pond store.

  - Erik

Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com