Resilience of a peatland in Central Sumatra, Indonesia to past anthropogenic disturbance: Improving conservation and restoration designs using palaeoecology

Tropical peatlands, which provide important functions such as biodiversity provisioning and carbon (C) storage, are currently threatened by land-use conversions. Thus, conservation and restoration efforts are needed to maintain their functions. Conservation concepts aiming to separate human from ecosystems are no longer conceivable. Therefore, understanding peatland resilience to human disturbance, that is the ability of peatland ecosystems to maintain their structure and function despite perturbations and to return to their predisturbance states, can assist with integrating human needs into conservation strategies and improving restoration effectiveness. Understanding ecosystem resilience is often impeded by a lack of long-term data, which can be obtained from palaeoecological studies. Located close to the archaeological remains of the Malayu Empire, the Sungai Buluh peatland in Sumatra, Indonesia provides an opportunity to study the resilience of a tropical peatland to past human disturbance. We subjected a 250-cm-long peat core to palynological, charcoal and C content analyses to delineate the anthropogenic impact on the peatland and the ecosystem’s response.
  • Authors: Hapsari, K.A., Biagioni, S., Jennerjahn, T.C., Reimer, P., Saad, A., Sabiham, S., Behling, H.
  • Author Affiliation: University of Goettingen, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research, University of Jambi, Bogor Agriculture University
  • Subjects: peatlands, paleoecology, conservation, ecological restoration, ecosystem management, human activities
  • Publication type: Journal Article
  • Source: Journal of Ecology 106(6): 2473-2490
  • Year: 2018
  • DOI:
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