Conservation slows down emission increase from a tropical peatland in Indonesia

Tropical peatlands are threatened by climate change and land-use changes, but there remain substantial uncertainties about their present and future role in the global carbon cycle due to limited measurements. Here, we present measurements of carbon dioxide and methane emissions between mid-2017 and mid-2020 as well as nitrous oxide emissions between 2019 and 2020 at two contrasting sites at a coastal peatland in Sumatra, Indonesia. We find that greenhouse-gas emissions from intact peatland increased substantially due to an extreme drought caused by a positive Indian Ocean Dipole phase combined with El Niño. The emission in the degraded site was two times greater than that at the intact site. The smaller emission from the intact peatland suggests that protecting the remaining intact tropical peatlands from degradation offers important climate benefits, avoiding greenhouse-gas emissions of 24 ± 5 tCO2e ha−1 yr−1 (average ± standard deviation) at our study site in Indonesia.
  • Authors: Deshmukh, C.S., Julius, D., Desai, A.R., Asyhari, A., Page, S.E., Nardi, N., Susanto, A.P., Nurholis, N., Hendrizal, M., Kurnianto, S., Suardiwerianto, Y., Salam, Y.W., Agus, F., Astiani, D., Sabiham, S., Gauci, V., Evans, C.D.
  • Author Affiliation: Asia Pacific Resources International, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Leicester, Indonesian Center for Agricultural Land Resources Research and Development, Tanjungpura University, Bogor Agricultural Institute, University of Birmingham, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Subjects: peatlands, climate change, land use change, emissions, conservation
  • Publication type: Journal Article, ISI
  • Source: Nature Geoscience 14(7): 484-490
  • Year: 2021
  • DOI:
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