Carbon cycle in sago palm cultivation system in tropical peatland

Akira Watanabe, Shuhei Makabe, Ho Ando, Ken-ichi Kakuda, Sudid Donny, Zulhilmy Abdullah Mohd and Lulie Melling

Proceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress


carbon-cycle, litter-decomposition, sago-palm, tropical-peat





Sago palm (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) is a high starch producing plant that can grow in a peat soil without intensive drainage. With such characteristics, sago palm is recommendable cash crop in tropical peatland. In this study, carbon (C) cycle in a sago palm cultivation system in Sarawak, Malaysia, was investigated to evaluate the potential of the system as C sink. For this purpose, the rate of C supply from sago palm to soil as litter, accumulation of C as aboveground biomass of sago and weeds, rate of sago litter decomposition on soil surface, and carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes from soil were measured in one or two sago palm gardens managed by native farmers. The rate of annual C supply from sago palm was estimated to be 3–4 t C ha-1 y-1. The amount of C accumulated as aboveground biomass of sago palm showed a large variation between the two gardens, 1–4 t C ha-1 y-1, due to the difference in the proportion of sago palms in the trunk formation stage. The CO2 and CH4 fluxes from soil (at 1 m distance from sago cluster) measured manually ranged from 6–9 t C ha-1 y-1 and -2 to 27 kg C ha-1 y-1,…