Peat – water inter-relationships in a tropical peatland ecosystem in South-east Asia

J.H.M. Wösten, E. Clymans, S.E. Page, J.O. Rieley, S.H. Limin

After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Tropical Peatlands


Wösten et al. 2008: Peat – water inter-relationships in a tropical peatland


Implications of groundwater level fluctuations were studied using a hydropedological modelling approach for adjacent relatively intact and degraded peatland in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Ideally, to prevent subsidence and fire, groundwater levels should be maintained between 40 cm below and 100 cm above the peat surface. Calculated groundwater levels for different years and for different months within a single year showed that these levels can drop lower than the critical threshold of 40 cm below the peat surface whilst flooding of more than 100 cm above the surface was also observed. The relatively intact peatland showed resilience towards disturbance of its hydrological integrity whereas the degraded peatland was susceptible to fire.