Biogeosciences Editors' Highlights

SE Asia Peatlands Subsidence Tied to Drainage Density

Human-made channelization significantly accelerates peat decomposition and drives ground-surface deformation in tropical wetlands.

Source: AGU Advances


Dadap et al. [2021] use high-resolution satellite imagery to find that drainage canals modify 65 percent of peatlands in Southeast Asia, independently of land-use type. They link the acceleration of soil decomposition and carbon emissions to drainage density, which explains a three-fold increase in ground-surface subsidence rates in intensively drained areas. This study suggests that land-use-based parameterizations significantly underestimate carbon emissions from tropical peatlands and associated subsidence rates. They propose to remedy this handicap by accounting for drainage density.

Citation: Dadap, N. C., Hoyt, A. M., Cobb, A. R., Oner, D., Kozinski, M., Fua, P. V., et al. [2021]. Drainage canals in Southeast Asian peatlands increase carbon emissions. AGU Advances, 2, e2020AV000321.

—Ana Barros, Editor, AGU Advances

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