Surface peat structure….

Surface peat structure and chemistry in a tropical peat swamp forest

Reference: Plant and Soil 382: 329–347.
Authors: Lampela, M., Jauhiainen, J., Vasander, H.
Year: 2014
Abstract: Background and Aims Tropical peat swamp forests (PSF) are great stores of terrestrial carbon and host unique biodiversity. Despite their importance for carbon accounting, the peat characteristics are sparsely studied, and the effect of microtopography on peat properties has not been reported before. Methods We compared PSF peat soil characteristics down to 70 cm under differing microtopographical conditions and hydrology. Results Long-term water table level data combined with the data from peat structure and chemistry analyses showed differences in most of the measured properties between hummocks and hollows. Decomposition degree was lowest at hummock and hollow surfaces while bulk density and C content increased towards deeper peat. Ash, P, K, Ca and Mg had highest concentrations on hummock surfaces with declining trend downwards, whereas N had no clear concentration pattern along the elevation gradient. Conclusions The microtopographical features may not only differ in regards to the water table-induced oxygen conditions but also due to differences in nutrient dynamics.
Key words: tropical peat, peat structure, bulk density, carbon content, microtopography, Central Kalimantan
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