Advertisement

Abstract

Malaysia has approximately 2.6 Mha of peatlands, of which about 70 % (∼1.6 Mha) are in Sarawak. Tropical peatland forest is a unique dual ecosystem of both rainforest and peatland. Its topo-morphology is strongly influenced by the hydrological conditions, which then determine the vegetation structure, species composition, and peat type. The tropical peatland forests are divided into six (6) phasic communities with three (3) main forest types, namely the Mixed Peat Swamp forest (PC1), Alan forest (PC2 and PC3) and Padang Alan forest (PC4). Their formation and development controlling factors, characteristics, and classification are described in the following. Some insights into the conservation and sustainable use of peat in Malaysia are also provided. To date, tropical peatland in Malaysia is still a largely unknown ecosystem and one of the understudied environments in the world. Hydrology is the dominant factor affecting the formation and functioning of peatland ecosystems by influencing the forest type and flow of nutrients. Knowledge on the topo-hydrological characteristics of the peatlands is notably important for understanding the physical and chemical properties of the peat. An understanding of the variability of peat properties in tropical peatland that are highly influenced by its structure and species composition is critically needed to formulate the strategies for conservation and sustainable management of tropical peatland.

Keywords

Tropical peatland Ombrogenous peat Biosequence 

References

  1. Anderson JAR (1958) Observations on the ecology of the peat-swamp forests of Sarawak and Brunei. In: Proceedings of the symposium on humid tropics vegetation. Council for Sciences of Indonesia/UNESCO, Ciawi, pp 141–148Google Scholar
  2. Anderson JAR (1961) The ecology and forest types of the peat swamp forests of Sarawak and Brunei in relation to their silviculture. PhD thesis, University of EdinburghGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson JAR (1963) The flora of the peat swamp forests of Sarawak and Brunei, including a catalogue of all recorded species of flowering plants, ferns and fern allies. Garden’s Bull Singap 29:131–228Google Scholar
  4. Anderson JAR (1964) The structure and development of the peat swamps of Sarawak and Brunei. J Trop Geogr 18:7–16Google Scholar
  5. Anderson JAR (1976) Observations on the ecology of five peat swamps in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Soil Res Inst Bogor Bull 3:45–55Google Scholar
  6. Broder T, Blodau C, Biester H, Knorr KH (2012) Peat decomposition records in three pristine ombrotrophic bogs in southern Patagonia. Biogeosciences 9:1479–1491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Browne FG (1955) Forest trees of Sarawak and Brunei and their products. Government Printing Office, KuchingGoogle Scholar
  8. Coulter JK (1950) Peat formations in Malaya. Malays Agric J 33:63–81Google Scholar
  9. Coulter JK (1957) Development of the peat soils in Malaya. Malays Agric J 40:188–199Google Scholar
  10. Das I, Jensen KA (2006) The herpetofauna of Loagan Bunut. In: Tuen AA, Sayok AK, Toh AN, Noweg GT (eds) Scientific journey through Borneo: Loagan Bunut. A scientific expedition on the physical, chemical, biological and sociological aspects. Peat swamp forest project. UNDP/GEF (MAL/99/G31), Sarawak, pp 131–154Google Scholar
  11. Department Of Agriculture Malaysia (DOA) (2002) Reconnaissance soil map of peninsular Malaysia. Scale 1:750 000Google Scholar
  12. Department of Irrigation and Drainage Sarawak (2014) Distribution of peat soils in Sarawak, viewed 18 Mar. http://www.did.sarawak.gov.my/modules/web/page.php?id=97&menu_id=0&sub_id=117
  13. FAO (1990) FAO-UNESCO soil map of the world 1:5000000. Revised Legend (reprinted with corrections). Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations – RomeGoogle Scholar
  14. Government of Sarawak, Forest Department (1957) Annual reports, KuchingGoogle Scholar
  15. Government of Sarawak, Forest Department (1962) Annual reports. KuchingGoogle Scholar
  16. Khathijah MJ, Jongkar G, Mohd. Shahbudin Hj S (2005) Maludam technical report. Joint Working Group Malaysia – The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  17. Laman CJ, Gawin DFA, Rahman MA (2006) Quantifying the diversity of avifauna of Loagan Bunut National Park. In: Tuen AA, Sayok AK, Toh AN, Noweg GT (eds) Scientific journey through Borneo: Loagan Bunut. A scientific expedition on the physical, chemical, biological and sociological aspects. Peat swamp forest project. UNDP/GEF (MAL/99/G31), Sarawak, pp 163–172Google Scholar
  18. Law WM, Selvadurai K (1968) The 1968 reconnaissance soil map of Malaya. Proceedings 3rd Malaysian soil conference, Sarawak, 1968. Printed by Dept. of Agric., KuchingGoogle Scholar
  19. Malaysian Unified Classification System (2014) Committee for the Standardization of Soil Survey and Evaluation in Malaysia (COMSSSEM). Department of Agriculture, MalaysiaGoogle Scholar
  20. Maltby E, Burbridge P, Fraser A (1996) Peat and acid sulphate soils: a case study from Vietnam. In: Maltby E, Immirzi CP, Safford RJ (eds). Tropical lowland peatlands of Southeast Asia. Proceedings of a workshop on integrated planning and management of tropical peatland, Cisarua, pp 187–197, 3–8 July 1992Google Scholar
  21. Melling L (2000) Dalat and Mukah sago plantation peat soil study. Report presented to the Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA), July 2000Google Scholar
  22. Melling L (2013) Tropical peat: what is so sexy about it? Tropical peat 2013 workshop. Unpublished dataGoogle Scholar
  23. Melling L, Hatano R (2004) Peat soils study in Maludam. Technical report-joint working group Malaysia -The Netherlands development and management of Maludam National Park. Forest Department SarawakGoogle Scholar
  24. Melling L, Katimon A (2013) Peat properties and engineering application. Soft soil engineering international conference, SEIC 2013Google Scholar
  25. Melling L, Uyo LJ, Goh KJ, Hatano R, Osaki M (2006) Soils of Loagan Bunut National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia- final report. UNDP/GEF funded project on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Tropical Peat Swamp Forests and Associated Wetland EcosystemsGoogle Scholar
  26. Melling L, Goh KJ, Uyo LJ, Hatano R (2007) Biophysical characteristics of tropical peatland. In: Jol H et al (eds) Proceedings of soil science conference of Malaysia, April 17th–19th 2007. Malaysian Soil Science Society, SarawakGoogle Scholar
  27. Melling L, Uyo LJ, Goh KJ, Hatano R, Osaki M (2008) Greenhouse gas fluxes of Loagan Bunut National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia- final report. UNDP/GEF funded project on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Tropical Peat Swamp Forests and Associated Wetland EcosystemsGoogle Scholar
  28. Mohd-Azlan J, Tuen AA, Khombi M, Sait I, Abdullah MT (2006) Diversity and abundance of mammal in Loagan Bunut National Park. In: Tuen AA, Sayok AK, Toh AN, Noweg GT (eds) Scientific journey through Borneo: Loagan Bunut. A scientific expedition on the physical, chemical, biological and sociological aspects. Peat swamp forest project. UNDP/GEF (MAL/99/G31), Sarawak, pp 173–182Google Scholar
  29. Morley RJ (1981) Development and vegetation dynamics of a lowland ombrogenous peat swamp in Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia. J Biogeogr 8:383–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Muller J (1965) Palynological study of holocene peat in Sarawak. In: Symposium on ecological research in humid tropics vegetation, Kuching, Sarawak, July 1963, UNESCOGoogle Scholar
  31. Mutalib AA, Lim JS, Wong MH, Koonvai l (1991) Characterization, distribution and utilization of peat in Malaysia. Symposium on tropical peat land, 8–10 March 1991, KuchingGoogle Scholar
  32. Page SE, Rieley JO, Wüst R (2006) Chapter 7: Lowland tropical peatlands of Southeast Asia. In: Martini P, Martinez-Cortizas A, Chesworth W (eds) Peatlands: basin evolution and depository of records on global environmental and climatic changes, Developments in Earth Surface Processes Series. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  33. Paramananthan S, Zauyah S, Lim CP, Chan YK, Boaklan D (1984) Proposals for a unified classification of organic soils in Malaysia. Proc. workshop on classification and management of peat in Malaysia. Mal. Soc. Soil Sci., March 1984Google Scholar
  34. Philips VD (1998) Peat swamp ecology and sustainable development in Borneo. Biodivers Conserv 7:651–671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sawal P (2012) Sarawak’s initiatives in regulating development in peat areas. Proceedings of the 14th international peat congress. Extended abstract no. 433Google Scholar
  36. Soil Survey Staff (2010) Keys to soil taxonomy, 11th edn. USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  37. Tawan CS, Ipor I, Jusoh I, Bulan P, Demies M (2006) Flora of the peat swamp forest of Loagan Bunut National Park. In: Tuen AA, Sayok AK, Toh AN, Noweg GT (eds) Scientific journey through Borneo: Loagan Bunut. A scientific expedition on the physical, chemical, biological and sociological aspects. Peat swamp forest project. UNDP/GEF (MAL/99/G31), Sarawak, pp 65–72Google Scholar
  38. Tie YL, Kueh HS (1979) A review of lowland organic soils in Sarawak, vol 4, Tech. Paper. Res. Branch, Department of Agriculture, SarawakGoogle Scholar
  39. UNEP-WCMC (2014) Checklist of CITES species, United Nations environment programme – world conservation monitoring centre, viewed 18 Mar 2014. http://checklist.cites.org
  40. Whitmore TC (1984) A vegetation map of Malesia at scale 1:5 million. J Biogeogr 11:461–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wilford GE (1960) Radio carbon age determinations of quaternary sediments in Brunei and North East Sarawak. In 1959 annual report of the British North Borneo Geological Survey Department. Kota Kinabalu, Geological Survey Department, Malaysia, pp 16–20Google Scholar
  42. Yonebayashi K, Okazaki M, Funakawa S, Chai OK, Lim CP (1995) Morphology of peat profile in tropical swamp forests and electromagnetic sensing of peat soils by ground proving radar. In: Yonebayashi K, Lim CP (eds) Environmental rehabilitation of tropical Peat Land. Kyoto Prefectural University, Kyoto, pp 59–63Google Scholar
  43. Zinck JA (2011) Tropical and subtropical peats: an overview. In: Zinck JA, Huber O (eds) Peatlands of the Western Guayana highlands. Springer, VenezuelaCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chief Minister’s DepartmentTropical Peat Research Laboratory UnitSarawakMalaysia

Personalised recommendations