- Peat swamp forest
Peat swamp forests are tropical moist forests where waterlogged soils prevent dead leaves and wood from fully decomposing, which over time creates thick layer of acidic
peat. Large areas of these forests are being logged at high rates.
Peat swamp forests are typically surrounded by lowland rain forests on better-drained soils, and by
brackishor salt-water mangrove forests near the coast.
Over the past decade, the government of
Indonesiahas drained some peat swamp forests of the island of Borneofor conversion to agricultural land. The dry years of 1997-8 and 2002-3 saw huge fires in the peat swamp forests. A study for the European Space Agencyfound that the peat swamp forests are a significant carbon sinkfor the planet, and that the fires of 1997-8 may have released up to 2.5 billion tonnes, and the 2002-3 fires between 200 million to 1 billion tonnes, of carbon into the atmosphere.
Peat swamp forest ecoregions
Borneo peat swamp forests( Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia)
Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp forests(Malaysia, Thailand)
Sumatran peat swamp forests(Indonesia)
Tonle Sap-Mekong peat swamp forests( Cambodia, Vietnam)
* [http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMRA7YO4HD_index_0.html Envisat focuses on carbon-rich peat swamp forest fires (European Space Agency)]
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