Indonesian peatlands are a major and growing globally important source of greenhouse gas emissions due to increasing pressure from the expansion of agricultural uses, particularly oil palm. Though drainage depth has been suggested as the dominant factor controlling microbial decomposition of soil organic matter in converted tropical peatlands, observations from the field are not consistent, indicating that other factors have an important influence on emissions from peatlands. Variability in organic matter quality can also influence carbon emissions from peat soils. Furthermore, a future climate regime characterized by more frequent and severe El Niño events could impact emissions in both drained and undrained tropical peatlands. This dissertation explored the interacting effects of land use change, soil substrate quality, and climate variability in driving greenhouse gas emissions from an Indonesian peatland using field, laboratory, and remote sensing approaches.
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University of Virginia
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