Simulating the impacts of climate change and land conversion on the carbon balance of tropical peatlands in Indonesia


Using a new, simple model of long-term tropical peatland carbon balance, HPMTrop, we assess the 21st century carbon balance of representative peatlands in Indonesia under multiple climate and land use scenarios, including several global climate model (GCM) results for multiple IPCC AR5 RCP (climate change) scenarios coupled with alternative land-use change scenarios such as persistent pristine peat swamp forest; permanent conversion to oil palm plantation, short-rotation forest pulp plantation, or smallholder farm; and conversion followed by restoration (e.g., re-fl ooded only, re-fl ooded with rapid reforestation, and re-fl ooded with slow reforestation). Model outputs include net C balance per unit area per year. Initial simulations have long-term carbon accumulation rates for inland (older) and coastal (younger) peatlands of 0.26 and 0.63 Mg C/ha/yr, resulting in contemporary peat stocks of ~3 000 Mg C/ha. Simulated carbon loss for the coastal scenario caused by forest conversion to oil palm plantation with periodic burning was 1 500 Mg C/ha over 100 years, equivalent to ~3 000 years of accumulation. The study will provide a model-based assessment of the impacts of land-use management decisions on peatland carbon storage under alternative climate and land-use change scenarios.


Earth Sciences, Earth Systems Research Center

Publication Date


Journal Title

IUFRO World Conference


Commonwealth Forestry Association

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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