The Cuvette Centrale is the largest tropical peatland complex in the world, covering approximately 145,000 km2 across the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It stores ca. 30.6 Pg C, the equivalent of three years of global carbon dioxide emissions and is now the first trans-national Ramsar site. Despite its size and importance as a global carbon store, relatively little is known about key aspects of its ecology and history, including its formation, the scale of greenhouse gas flows, its biodiversity and its history of human activity. Here, we synthesise available knowledge on the Cuvette Centrale, identifying key areas for further research. Finally, we review the potential of mathematical models to assess future trajectories for the peatlands in terms of the potential impacts of resource extraction or climate change.
- Authors: Biddulph, G.E., Bocko, Y.E., Bola, P., Crezee, B., Dargie, G.C., Emba, O., Georgiou, S., Girkin, N., Hawthorne, D., Jovani-Sancho, J., Kanyama T, J., Mampouya, W.E., Mbemba, M., Sciumbata, M., Tyrrell, G.
- Author Affiliation: University of St Andrews, Université Marien Ngouabi, University of Leeds, University of Edinburgh, Cranfield University, University of Nottingham, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of Leicester
- Subjects: peatlands, tropics, carbon dioxide, emissions, carbon sinks, research, knowledge
- Publication type: Journal Article
- Source: Bois et Forêts des Tropiques 350: 3-14
- Year: 2022
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.19182/bft2021.350.a36288