We have studied tropical peatlands in both natural and degraded (developed and burned) states, on managed peatlands (settled agriculture and plantations), as well ecosystem dynamics prior/after hydrological restoration on overdrained peat areas over a decade. The work has produced field sampling techniques to collect and monitor greenhouse gas fluxes, and study carbon and nitrogen dynamics in peat and vegetation. This flux data linked to information collected on key factors related to tropical peat carbon and nitrogen dynamics are done in order to determine the impact of development on tropical peat ecosystem functions.
Non University of Helsinki projects:
Summarised activities conducted in UNIHEL projects and partnerships:
Peat greenhouse gas fluxes. Studies on soil greenhouse gas (CO2, CH4, N2O) fluxes in pristine forests, degraded forest, clear-felled but regrowing areas, agricultural lands, and from water in drainage canals (Central Kalimantan, Riau, Mekong delta).
Forest floor microtopography. Studies peat characteristics along hummock – hollow microtopography gradient, and distribution/area of micro-topographical features in forest floor in various hydrological conditions (Central Kalimantan).
Peat characteristics (depth, bulk density, nutrients, carbon content, temperatures etc.) in pristine, drainage affected forests and clear-felled overdrained areas (South- and Central Kalimantan, Mekong delta).
Peat subsidence. Studies on peat carbon store changes by peat and canal surface leveling and peat surface subsidence (by peat subsidence poles) study transects (Central Kalimantan).
Peat and drainage water nutrient dynamics. Follow-up studies on nutrient in-/outflow in drainage affected forest and drained peat (South- and Central Kalimantan, Mekong delta).
Peat hydrology. Studies on peat water table height distribution and flows in peat and drainage canals by manual measurements and data collected by loggers (South- and Central Kalimantan, Mekong delta).
Peat microbiology. Studies on soil and peat microbiological characteristics on acid sulphate soil areas (South Kalimantan, Mekong delta).
Restoration of mismanaged peat hydrology. Studies on peat hydrology restoration potential on mismanaged tropical peat by experimental drainage canal blocking. Studies include analyses on costs, materials, structures, filling techniques and structure durability monitoring (Central Kalimantan).
Water biota structure and biochemistry. Studies on fish populations, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and benthos in drainage canals. Studies include surveys on environmental factors controlling biota existence, such as water colour, pH, dissolved oxygen, water temperature, water transparency, and turbidity (Central Kalimantan).
Vegetation cover. Studies on vegetation cover change on mismanaged tropical peat by establishment of permanent follow-up survey plots (Central Kalimantan).
Reforestation. Studies on local pioneer tree species growth in nursery and field conditions including environmental factor mapping on seedling survival potential (Central Kalimantan).
Biophysical aspects of sustainable agriculture. Studies on biophysical aspects affecting sustainable agriculture, productivity values of various crops species, and sustainability of agricultural use of tropical peatland for different crops (Central- and West Kalimantan).
The hard work in tropical peatlands has produced numerous scientific presentations and papers which have been presented in numerous scientific workshops and conferences in SE Asia and Europe. Some of these presentations are down-loadable in our project sites in STRAPEAT, RESTORPEAT, and CARBOPEAT home pages, some can be found in our Jauhiainen Jyrki and Vasander Harri publication lists, and rest by contacting us directly. The core of our concern on tropical peat is distilled in statements produced in scientific conferences, such as Penang statement in 1999, Jakarta statement in 2001, Palangka Raya statement in 2005, and Yogyakarta Statement in 2007.
Collaboration with Embassies
Department of Forest Sciences keep in communication with Finnish outposts. The longest relationship has been with the Embassy of Finland in Indonesia. The support by the Finnish Embassy in Jakarta has been channeled mainly through CIMTROP, Indonesian Peat Association and Finnish Peatland Society. Embassy of Finland has supported maintenance of facilitation in research areas (such as maintenance of mini railway in Natural Laboratory), provided financial help by supporting Indonesian peat scientists participation to the IPS 12th International Peat Congress in Tampere 2004, supported Palangka Raya and Jakarta workshops in 2005, and contributed to Yogyakarta conference in 2007.