Impacts of Conversion and Drainage of Tropical Peat Forests on Carbon Fluxes to Atmosphere and Water

Indonesia has the largest tropical peats, ranging from 18 to 27 million hectares. It is
estimated that about 12 million hectares of these peats have been disturbed and
substantially drained in order to lower water table depths which are required for
agricultural uses (i.e. rice paddy, industrial pulp, and recently oil palm plantation).
Drained and converted peatland forests lead to accelerated peat subsidence and
potentially act as an important Carbon source. Contemporarily, impacts of peatland
drainage and land cover change of peat forests into mono-crop plantations of oil palms
are barely investigated. This research aims to generate models of carbon flux
at open peats, oil palm plantations on peats, and forested peats. We are investigating
factors that control the accumulation and decomposition of peat carbon stocks at
various peatland uses. We are also calculating Long Term Carbon Accumulation
(LORCA) based on the age of peat formation, and the rate of peat decomposition in
relation to subsidence and drainage depth. We are measuring carbon fluxes in the forms
of CO? gas and lateral Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) and Particulate Organic
Carbon (POC), and pCO?. We use Eddy Covariance Technique to measure CO?
gas, and combustion-infrared method, using Total Organic Carbon (TOC) analyzer, to
measure DOC and POC, and a non-dispersive infrared gas sensor (LI-840, LI-COR
Biosciences, USA) to measure pCO?.

Project Personnel:
Dr. Gusti Z Anshari, Universitas Tanjungpura
Dr. Evie Gusmayanti, Universitas Tanjungpura
Lucy Arianie, Msi, Universitas Tanjungpura
Dr. Walter Oechel, SDSU-GCRG
Hiroki Ikawa, SDSU-GCRG
Oscar Abelleira, SDSU-GCRG

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