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Carbon accumulation of tropical peatlands over millennia: a modeling approach Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/w6634525x

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  • Tropical peatlands cover an estimated 440,000 km² (~10% of global peatland area) and are significant in the global carbon cycle by storing about 40–90 Gt C in peat. Over the past several decades, tropical peatlands have experienced high rates of deforestation and conversion, which is often associated with lowering the water table and peat burning, releasing large amounts of carbon stored in peat to the atmosphere. We present the first model of long-term carbon accumulation in tropical peatlands by modifying the Holocene Peat Model (HPM), which has been successfully applied to northern temperate peatlands. Tropical HPM (HPMTrop) is a one-dimensional, nonlinear, dynamic model with a monthly time step that simulates peat mass remaining in annual peat cohorts over millennia as a balance between monthly vegetation inputs (litter) and monthly decomposition. Key model parameters were based on published data on vegetation characteristics, including net primary production partitioned into leaves, wood, and roots; and initial litter decomposition rates. HPMTrop outputs are generally consistent with field observations from Indonesia. Simulated long-term carbon accumulation rates for 11,000-year-old inland, and 5,000-year-old coastal peatlands were about 0.3 and 0.59 Mg C ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹, and the resulting peat carbon stocks at the end of the 11,000-year and 5,000-year simulations were 3,300 and 2,900 Mg C ha⁻¹, respectively. The simulated carbon loss caused by coastal peat swamp forest conversion into oil palm plantation with periodic burning was 1,400 Mg C ha⁻¹ over 100 years, which is equivalent to ~2,900 years of C accumulation in a hectare of coastal peatlands.
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  • Kurnianto, S., Warren, M., Talbot, J., Kauffman, B., Murdiyarso, D. and Frolking, S. (2015). Carbon accumulation of tropical peatlands over millennia: a modeling approach. Global Change Biology, 21(1), 431–444. doi:10.1111/gcb.12672
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  • 21
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  • 1
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  • This study was supported by a grant from the USDA Forest Service Indonesia Peatlands, Forest and Climate Change Initiative to SF (USDA-2011-67003-30373), a graduate tuition fellowship to SK from the University of New Hampshire, and the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Additional support from the USAID-funded Sustainable Wetlands Adaptation and Mitigation Program (SWAMP) was jointly implemented by CIFOR, the USFS, and Oregon State University.
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