Proceedings of the 14th International Peat Congress
carbon-emissions, deforestation, forest-biomass, peat-dome, subsidence
Theme IX. Tropical peatlands
Agricultural development of Indonesian peatland has come under scrutiny for the high levels of carbon emitted. Few data on baseline emissions prior to development exist. This study records landscape level changes in topography and forest cover that occurred over seven years preceding development. Data have come from high resolution digital aerial photos, forest sampling and from topographic leveling surveys. The raised peat landform studied here had become distorted by subsidence valleys within a decade of drainage being introduced from ditches dug to illegally extract logs. Changes in land surface levels and in forest cover measured over the pre-development period indicate that carbon emission from soil subsidence and forest biomass loss was in the order of magnitude of CO2 25-30 t ha-1 yr-1.