The Peatland Ecosystem

Burning and Draining Damage
April 8, 2014
Producing CO2
May 4, 2014

CHARLES HARVEY→ The peat forest is a really interesting ecosystem and it's in part interesting because it's really simple, compared to other ecosystems at least in this part of the world. So for instance in Borneo the forest is well known and appreciated for being incredibly diverse. The peat forests are, people might debate this, a little bit less diverse and the soils are remarkably homogeneous, because it's all peat. There's no rock formations providing different elements.

One surprising thing about this peat, even if there's huge trees growing on it, there's houses built on it, is that it's 90 percent or more water. So only 10 percent of it is actually organic carbon, the rest is water. Yet peat is still fairly rigid and can hold up tropical rain forest trees and houses.

The water in natural peatlands is basically rain water. The peatlands are what we call ombrotrophic, or rain loving, and this is a large reason why the peat exists. There isn't enough oxygen for the microbes to consume the peat. So basically the microbes take the organic carbon, and combine it with a carbon atom with an oxygen atom, and produce a CO2.


RUDI SYAF→ Jambi province has a total area of five million hectares In 1982, 4.2 out of 5 million hectares were forest area. Within 5 years, by 1987, the total forest area went down from 4.2 to 3 million hectares. Since 1987 until now the forest area lost an additional 900,000 and now the forest area is about 2.1 million hectares.

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