Surface peat structure and chemistry in a tropical peat swamp forest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Background and Aims

Tropical peat swamp forests (PSF) are great stores of terrestrial carbon and host unique biodiversity. Despite their importance for carbon accounting, the peat characteristics are sparsely studied, and the effect of microtopography on peat properties has not been reported before.

We compared PSF peat soil characteristics down to 70 cm under differing microtopographical conditions and hydrology.

Long-term water table level data combined with the data from peat structure and chemistry analyses showed differences in most of the measured properties between hummocks and hollows. Decomposition degree was lowest at hummock and hollow surfaces while bulk density and C content increased towards deeper peat. Ash, P, K, Ca and Mg had highest concentrations on hummock surfaces with declining trend downwards, whereas N had no clear concentration pattern along the elevation gradient.

The microtopographical features may not only differ in regards to the water table-induced oxygen conditions but also due to differences in nutrient dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)329-347
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 4112 Forestry
  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

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