Extensive mineral alteration in the older land surfaces of the eastern Amazonian lowland has led to complete impoverishment of the soils in respect of their inorganic nutrient contents. Large-scale use of this area for agricultural purposes seems impossible. In the western Amazonian lowland, younger land surfaces (Pliocene) have developed along with Pleistocene flood plains. The mineral alteration in the soil profiles of this area, which are partly characterized by poor drainage, has resulted in impoverishment of soils to a lesser degree. These soils can be used to a limited extent for agricultural purposes, especially at the level of a subsistence economy.
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