Tropical peat surface oscillations are a function of peat condition at North Selangor peat swamp forest, Malaysia

Ledger, Martha J.; Evans, Chris D. ORCID:; Large, David J.; Evers, Stephanie; Brown, Chloe; Jovani-Sancho, A. Jonay ORCID:; Callaghan, Nathan; Vane, Christopher H. ORCID:; Marshall, Chris; Baskaran, Abirami; Gan, Jing Ye; Sowter, Andrew; Morrison, Keith; Sjögersten, Sofie. 2023 Tropical peat surface oscillations are a function of peat condition at North Selangor peat swamp forest, Malaysia. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 11, 1182100. 18, pp.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
Text (Open Access Paper)
Ledger et al. 2023_Front_Env_Sci_Malaysia Peat.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (3MB) | Preview


Tropical peatland condition across southeast Asia is deteriorating as a result of conversion to agriculture and urban zones. Conversion begins by lowering the water table, which leads to peat decomposition, subsidence and increased risk of large-scale forest fires. Associated changes in mechanical peat properties impact the magnitude and timing of changes in peatland surface motion, making them a potential proxy for peatland condition. However, such a relationship is yet to be observed in a tropical peatland setting. This study aimed to establish whether patterns of tropical peatland surface motion were a function of peat condition at North Selangor Peat Swamp Forest in Selangor, Malaysia. Results showed that subsidence was greatest at fire-affected scrubland sites, whilst the lowest mean water table levels were found at smallholder oil palm sites. Peat condition and magnitude of tropical peat surface oscillation were significantly different between peat condition classes, whilst peat condition differed with depth. More degraded tropical peats with high bulk density throughout the peat profile due to high surface loading and low mean water table levels showed greater surface oscillation magnitudes. The dominant peat surface oscillation mechanisms present at all sites were compression and shrinkage from changes in water table level. Mean water table level and subsidence rate were related to surface oscillation magnitude. However further work towards measuring surface and within-water table range bulk densities and surface loading is required to better understand the controls on surface oscillation magnitudes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2296-665X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: tropical peat, water table, peat condition, subsidence, hydraulic conductivity, volume change, surface oscillation, peat elasticity
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 15 Aug 2023 14:28 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...