Management driven changes in carbon mineralization dynamics of tropical peat

Jyrki Juhani Jauhiainen, Hanna Silvennoinen, Mari Tuulia Könönen, Suwido Limin, Harri Tapani Vasander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Extensive draining at tropical ombrotrophic peatlands in Southeast Asia has made these landscapes a global ‘hot spots’ for greenhouse gas emissions. Management practices and fires have changed substrate status, which affects microbial processes. Here, we present data on how change in management practices affect carbon (C) mineralization processes at these soils. We compared the C mineralization potentials of undrained swamp forest peat to those of abandoned peat (deforested, drained and burned peatlands in degraded condition) at various depths, with and without additional substrates (glucose, glutamate and nitrate), under oxic and anoxic conditions through ex situ experiments. Carbon mineralization (CO2 and CH4 production) rates were higher in the forest peat, with higher litter deposition and C availability. Production rates decreased with peat depth coinciding with decreasing availability of labile C. Consequently, the increase in production rates after labile substrate addition was relatively modest in forest peat as compared to the abandoned site and from the top layers as compared to deeper layers. Methanogenesis had little importance in total C loss. Adding labile C and nitrogen (N) enhanced heterotrophic CO2 production more than only addition of N. Surprisingly, oxygen availability did not limit CO2 production rates, but anoxic respiration also yielded substantial rates, especially at the forest peat. Flooding of these sites will therefore reduce, but not completely cease, peat C-loss. Reintroduced vegetation and fertilization in abandoned peatlands can enrich the peat with labile C and N compounds and thus lead to increased microbiological activity.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)115-132
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 4112 Forestry
  • 1172 Environmental sciences
  • Anoxia
  • CO2 and CH4 production kinetics
  • Persistence of soil organic matter
  • Land use
  • Kalimantan
  • Labile carbon
  • SOIL

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