Greenhouse gas emissions along a peat swamp forest degradation gradient in the Peruvian Amazon: soil moisture and palm roots effects

Jeffrey van Lent, Kristell Hergoualc’h, Louis Verchot, Oene Oenema, Jan Willem van Groenigen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tropical peatlands in the Peruvian Amazon exhibit high densities of Mauritia flexuosa palms, which are often cut instead of being climbed for collecting their fruits. This is an important type of forest degradation in the region that could lead to changes in the structure and composition of the forest, quality and quantity of inputs to the peat, soil properties, and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. We studied peat and litterfall characteristics along a forest degradation gradient that included an intact site, a moderately degraded site, and a heavily degraded site. To understand underlying factors driving GHG emissions, we examined the response of in vitro soil microbial GHG emissions to soil moisture variation, and we tested the potential of pneumatophores to conduct GHGs in situ. The soil phosphorus and carbon content and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio as well as the litterfall nitrogen content and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio were significantly affected by forest degradation. Soils from the degraded sites consistently produced more carbon dioxide (CO2) than soils from the intact site during in vitro incubations. The response of CO2 production to changes in water-filled pore space (WFPS) followed a cubic polynomial relationship with maxima at 60–70% at the three sites. Methane (CH4) was produced in limited amounts and exclusively under water-saturated conditions. There was no significant response of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions to WFPS variation. Lastly, the density of pneumatophore decreased drastically as the result of forest degradation and was positively correlated to in situ CH4 emissions. We conclude that recurrent M. flexuosa harvesting could result in a significant increase of in situ CO2 fluxes and a simultaneous decrease in CH4 emissions via pneumatophores. These changes might alter long-term carbon and GHG balances of the peat, and the role of these ecosystems for climate change mitigation, which stresses the need for their protection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-643
JournalMitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
Volume24
Issue number4
Early online date21 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Fingerprint

swamp forest
peat
greenhouse gas
soil moisture
degradation
carbon
litterfall
pore space
nitrogen
soil
peat soil
nitrous oxide
peatland
soil property
fruit
carbon dioxide
methane
incubation
effect
phosphorus

Keywords

  • CH
  • CO
  • GHG
  • Mauritia flexuosa
  • NO
  • Peat swamp forest
  • Pneumatophores
  • Tropical peatland
  • Water-filled pore space

Cite this

@article{03e4260bce0842d281db6b03f8b5a80e,
title = "Greenhouse gas emissions along a peat swamp forest degradation gradient in the Peruvian Amazon: soil moisture and palm roots effects",
abstract = "Tropical peatlands in the Peruvian Amazon exhibit high densities of Mauritia flexuosa palms, which are often cut instead of being climbed for collecting their fruits. This is an important type of forest degradation in the region that could lead to changes in the structure and composition of the forest, quality and quantity of inputs to the peat, soil properties, and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. We studied peat and litterfall characteristics along a forest degradation gradient that included an intact site, a moderately degraded site, and a heavily degraded site. To understand underlying factors driving GHG emissions, we examined the response of in vitro soil microbial GHG emissions to soil moisture variation, and we tested the potential of pneumatophores to conduct GHGs in situ. The soil phosphorus and carbon content and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio as well as the litterfall nitrogen content and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio were significantly affected by forest degradation. Soils from the degraded sites consistently produced more carbon dioxide (CO2) than soils from the intact site during in vitro incubations. The response of CO2 production to changes in water-filled pore space (WFPS) followed a cubic polynomial relationship with maxima at 60–70{\%} at the three sites. Methane (CH4) was produced in limited amounts and exclusively under water-saturated conditions. There was no significant response of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions to WFPS variation. Lastly, the density of pneumatophore decreased drastically as the result of forest degradation and was positively correlated to in situ CH4 emissions. We conclude that recurrent M. flexuosa harvesting could result in a significant increase of in situ CO2 fluxes and a simultaneous decrease in CH4 emissions via pneumatophores. These changes might alter long-term carbon and GHG balances of the peat, and the role of these ecosystems for climate change mitigation, which stresses the need for their protection.",
keywords = "CH, CO, GHG, Mauritia flexuosa, NO, Peat swamp forest, Pneumatophores, Tropical peatland, Water-filled pore space",
author = "{van Lent}, Jeffrey and Kristell Hergoualc’h and Louis Verchot and Oene Oenema and {van Groenigen}, {Jan Willem}",
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Greenhouse gas emissions along a peat swamp forest degradation gradient in the Peruvian Amazon : soil moisture and palm roots effects. / van Lent, Jeffrey; Hergoualc’h, Kristell; Verchot, Louis; Oenema, Oene; van Groenigen, Jan Willem.

In: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Vol. 24, No. 4, 04.2019, p. 625-643.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Greenhouse gas emissions along a peat swamp forest degradation gradient in the Peruvian Amazon

T2 - soil moisture and palm roots effects

AU - van Lent, Jeffrey

AU - Hergoualc’h, Kristell

AU - Verchot, Louis

AU - Oenema, Oene

AU - van Groenigen, Jan Willem

PY - 2019/4

Y1 - 2019/4

N2 - Tropical peatlands in the Peruvian Amazon exhibit high densities of Mauritia flexuosa palms, which are often cut instead of being climbed for collecting their fruits. This is an important type of forest degradation in the region that could lead to changes in the structure and composition of the forest, quality and quantity of inputs to the peat, soil properties, and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. We studied peat and litterfall characteristics along a forest degradation gradient that included an intact site, a moderately degraded site, and a heavily degraded site. To understand underlying factors driving GHG emissions, we examined the response of in vitro soil microbial GHG emissions to soil moisture variation, and we tested the potential of pneumatophores to conduct GHGs in situ. The soil phosphorus and carbon content and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio as well as the litterfall nitrogen content and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio were significantly affected by forest degradation. Soils from the degraded sites consistently produced more carbon dioxide (CO2) than soils from the intact site during in vitro incubations. The response of CO2 production to changes in water-filled pore space (WFPS) followed a cubic polynomial relationship with maxima at 60–70% at the three sites. Methane (CH4) was produced in limited amounts and exclusively under water-saturated conditions. There was no significant response of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions to WFPS variation. Lastly, the density of pneumatophore decreased drastically as the result of forest degradation and was positively correlated to in situ CH4 emissions. We conclude that recurrent M. flexuosa harvesting could result in a significant increase of in situ CO2 fluxes and a simultaneous decrease in CH4 emissions via pneumatophores. These changes might alter long-term carbon and GHG balances of the peat, and the role of these ecosystems for climate change mitigation, which stresses the need for their protection.

AB - Tropical peatlands in the Peruvian Amazon exhibit high densities of Mauritia flexuosa palms, which are often cut instead of being climbed for collecting their fruits. This is an important type of forest degradation in the region that could lead to changes in the structure and composition of the forest, quality and quantity of inputs to the peat, soil properties, and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. We studied peat and litterfall characteristics along a forest degradation gradient that included an intact site, a moderately degraded site, and a heavily degraded site. To understand underlying factors driving GHG emissions, we examined the response of in vitro soil microbial GHG emissions to soil moisture variation, and we tested the potential of pneumatophores to conduct GHGs in situ. The soil phosphorus and carbon content and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio as well as the litterfall nitrogen content and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio were significantly affected by forest degradation. Soils from the degraded sites consistently produced more carbon dioxide (CO2) than soils from the intact site during in vitro incubations. The response of CO2 production to changes in water-filled pore space (WFPS) followed a cubic polynomial relationship with maxima at 60–70% at the three sites. Methane (CH4) was produced in limited amounts and exclusively under water-saturated conditions. There was no significant response of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions to WFPS variation. Lastly, the density of pneumatophore decreased drastically as the result of forest degradation and was positively correlated to in situ CH4 emissions. We conclude that recurrent M. flexuosa harvesting could result in a significant increase of in situ CO2 fluxes and a simultaneous decrease in CH4 emissions via pneumatophores. These changes might alter long-term carbon and GHG balances of the peat, and the role of these ecosystems for climate change mitigation, which stresses the need for their protection.

KW - CH

KW - CO

KW - GHG

KW - Mauritia flexuosa

KW - NO

KW - Peat swamp forest

KW - Pneumatophores

KW - Tropical peatland

KW - Water-filled pore space

U2 - 10.1007/s11027-018-9796-x

DO - 10.1007/s11027-018-9796-x

M3 - Article

VL - 24

SP - 625

EP - 643

JO - Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

JF - Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

SN - 1381-2386

IS - 4

ER -