Holding approximately 89,000 Tg of organic carbon, tropical peatlands are one of the largest pedological sinks of carbon (Page et al., 2011). Waterlogged conditions in undisturbed peatlands reduce heterotrophic respiration and provide environments in which organic matter accumulates (Moore et al., 2013). However, from 1990 to 2010, the forest cover in the peatlands of South East Asia fell from 77% to 36%; at this rate of decline, all of the undisturbed peatlands are likely to have disappeared by 2030 (Li et al., 2007; Koh et al., 2011; Miettinen et al., 2011). Land-use changes in these ecosystems can have important consequences for carbon (C) budgets (Page et al., 2002; Hooijer et al., 2010). Recently a number of studies have been carried out on tropical peatlands (e.g. Couwenberg et al., 2010; Hergoualc’h and Verchot, 2011; Hirano et al., 2012; Jauhiainen et al., 2005, 2012; Li et al., 2007; Melling et al., 2005; Page et al., 2009), but some parts of the C budget are yet to be quantified. In order to fill these gaps in our knowledge, the goal of this work was to assess heterotrophic and total soil respiration, litterfall, litter decomposition and evaluate peat properties in an intact peat swamp forest, a transitional logged drained forest and an oil palm plantation located on the same alluvial peat plain.
Topic: carbon, soil, greenhouse gases, emission, peatlands
Publisher: University of Aberdeen
Publication Year: 2016