Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Matthew Warren; Kristell Hergoualc'h; J. Boone Kauffman; Daniel Murdiyarso; Randall Kolka
    Date: 2017
    Source: Carbon Balance and Management
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (818.0 KB)

    Description

    Background: A large proportion of the world's tropical peatlands occur in Indonesia where rapid conversion and associated losses of carbon, biodiversity and ecosystem services have brought peatland management to the forefront of Indonesia's climate mitigation efforts. We evaluated peat volume from two commonly referenced maps of peat distribution and depth published by Wetlands International (WI) and the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), and used regionally specific values of carbon density to calculate carbon stocks. Results: Peatland extent and volume published in the MoA maps are lower than those in the WI maps, resulting in lower estimates of carbon storage. We estimate Indonesia’s total peat carbon store to be within 13.6 GtC (the low MoA map estimate) and 40.5 GtC (the high WI map estimate) with a best estimate of 28.1 GtC: the midpoint of medium carbon stock estimates derived from WI (30.8 GtC) and MoA (25.3 GtC) maps. This estimate is about half of previous assessments which used an assumed average value of peat thickness for all Indonesian peatlands, and revises the current global tropical peat carbon pool to 75 GtC. Yet, these results do not diminish the significance of Indonesia's peatlands, which store an estimated 30% more carbon than the biomass of all Indonesian forests. The largest discrepancy between maps is for the Papua province, which accounts for 62–71% of the overall differences in peat area, volume and carbon storage. According to the MoA map, 80% of Indonesian peatlands are <300 cm thick and thus vulnerable to conversion outside of protected areas according to environmental regulations. The carbon contained in these shallower peatlands is conservatively estimated to be 10.6 GtC, equivalent to 42% of Indonesia’s total peat carbon and about 12 years of global emissions from land use change at current rates. Conclusions: Considering the high uncertainties in peatland extent, volume and carbon storage revealed in this assessment of current maps, a systematic revision of Indonesia's peat maps to produce a single geospatial reference that is universally accepted would improve national peat carbon storage estimates and greatly benefit carbon cycle research, land use management and spatial planning.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Warren, Matthew; Hergoualc'h, Kristell; Kauffman, J. Boone; Murdiyarso, Daniel; Kolka, Randall. 2017. An appraisal of Indonesia's immense peat carbon stock using national peatland maps: uncertainties and potential losses from conversion. Carbon Balance and Management. 12(1): L13402-. 12 p. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13021-017-0080-2.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    Tropical peatlands, Wetlands, Climate change mitigation, Carbon pools, Carbon emissions, Peat degradation

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/54642