Recent results from an ecohydrological study of forest species in drained tropical peatlands

Ecohydrological studies in tropical peatland have mostly focused on a small number of non-native commercial species. However, studies of native species are urgently needed as they are considered to be a possible solution in the restoration of millions of hectares of degraded tropical peatlands. We investigated peatland species on Padang Island, Indonesia, to assess their responses to changing environmental factors, particularly the high fluctuation of the water table due to intensive peatland draining. We monitored the sap-flux velocity and radial growth of six trees (four native and one non-native peatland species) in high temporal resolution using sap-flux meters and dendrometers up to seven months. Monitoring also included hydrological and micrometeorological parameters. We found that sap-flux velocity in the monitored species was mainly controlled by air vapor pressure deficits, photosynthetic active radiation, and to some extent, by wind speed and water-table depth. We also observed a species-specific correlation between daily sap-flux velocity and daily radial growth. Non-native Acacia crassicarpa had up to twice the radial growth of native species. This growth of non-native species was signifi-cantly higher at a shallow water-table depth, while native species did not show the same relationship. The interaction between water-table depth, sap-flux velocity, and radial growth in daily timescale was not straightforward, presumably because of the complex carbon-allocation mechanism in trees.
  • Authors: Ismail, Haghighi, A.T., Marttila, H., Karyanto, O., Klove, B.
  • Author Affiliation: University of Oulu, Gadjah Mada University
  • Subjects: peat, swamps, forests, ecohydrology, water uptake, radial growth, water table
  • Publication type: Journal Article
  • Source: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 331: 109338
  • Year: 2023
  • DOI:
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