Plantation-associated drainage of Southeast Asian peatlands has accelerated in recent years. Draining exposes the upper peat layer to oxygen, leading to elevated decomposition rates and net soil carbon losses. Empirical studies indicate positive relationships between long-term water table (WT) depth and soil carbon loss rate in peatlands. These correlations potentially enable using WT depth as a proxy for soil carbon losses from peatland plantations. Here, we compile data from published research assessing WT depth and carbon balance in tropical plantations on peat.

Smoldering peat fires in Indonesia are responsible for large quantities of trace gas and particulate emissions. However, to date no satellite remote sensing technique has been demonstrated for the identification of smoldering peat fires. Fires have two distinct combustion phases: a high temperature flaming and low temperature smoldering phases. The flaming phase temperature is approximately twice that of the smoldering phase. This temperature differential results in a spectral displacement of the primary radiant emissions of the two combustion phases.

Arctic permafrost soils store large amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC) that could be released into the atmosphere as methane (CH4) in a future warmer climate. How warming affects the complex microbial network decomposing SOC is not understood. The researchers studied CH4 production of Arctic peat soil microbiota in anoxic microcosms over a temperature gradient from 1 to 30 °C, combining metatranscriptomic, metagenomic, and targeted metabolic profiling.

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A moratorium on land conversion begun during former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration in 2011 has not yet been effective to save peat forests in Riau, as slash and burn practices

Vast areas of deforested tropical peatlands do not receive noteworthy shading by vegetation, which increases the amount of solar radiation reaching the peat surface. Peat temperature dynamics and heterotrophic carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) fluxes were monitored under four shading conditions, i.e. unshaded, 28%, 51% and 90% shading at experiment sites established on reclaimed fallow agricultural- and degraded sites in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Responsible management practices can help to maintain peatland ecosystem services while sustaining and improving local livelihoods. This recent FAO publication gives guidance on responsible peatland management practices, supporting the reduction of GHG emissions from managed peatlands.

Blanket bog—characterized by an almost complete landscape covering of undecayed organic peat—is a highly distinctive biome restricted to regions that experience hyperoceanic climatic conditions. Bioclimatic modelling suggests there will be a dramatic shrinkage of the available climatic space for blanket bogs with only a few, restricted areas of persistence.

Peat bogs are primarily situated at mid to high latitudes and future climatic change projections indicate that these areas may become increasingly wetter and warmer. Methane emissions from peat bogs are reduced by symbiotic methane oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs). Higher temperatures and increasing water levels will enhance methane production, but also methane oxidation. To unravel the temperature effect on methane and carbon cycling, a set of mesocosm experiments were executed, where intact peat cores containing actively growing Sphagnum were incubated at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25°C.

We quantified the wholesale transformation of the boreal landscape by open-pit oil sands mining in Alberta, Canada to evaluate its effect on carbon storage and sequestration. Contrary to claims made in the media, peatland destroyed by open-pit mining will not be restored. Current plans dictate its replacement with upland forest and tailings storage lakes, amounting to the destruction of over 29,500 ha of peatland habitat.

Wetlands are among the most productive and economically valuable ecosystems in the world. However, because of human activities, over half of the wetland ecosystems existing in North America, Europe, Australia, and China in the early 20th century have been lost. Ecological restoration to recover critical ecosystem services has been widely attempted, but the degree of actual recovery of ecosystem functioning and structure from these efforts remains uncertain.