Impact of fire on microbial diversity and community structure Malaysian peatlands

Catherine M. Yule, Stephanie Evers, Thomas Smith, Han Ming Gan, Chin Chin Too and Wilhelm W.H. Eng

Proceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress


biodiversity, microbial-communities, peatfire, tropical-peatland



Microbial communities of regional peatlands are poorly known. We used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to assess impacts of fire and degradation on microbial diversity and community structure in peatlands in Peninsular Malaysia. We analysed microbes in surface peat samples from a relatively pristine peat swamp forest (North Selangor PSF) and compared them with surface peat samples from actively burning, degraded peat on the west coast (near Pekan PSF). We then analysed samples from the burning site after we dried them in an oven for 24 hrs at 60 C todetermine the effects of further heating and drying (as would be expected to happen to peat near a fire). We alsomeasured environmental parameters such as peat pH, organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. Next Generation…