Spatial Variations in Dissolved and Particulate Organic Carbon in the Kemena and Tatau Rivers, Sarawak

  • Keitaro FukushimaEmail author
  • Naoko Tokuchi
  • Hiromitsu Samejima
  • Jason Hon
  • Yuichi Kano
Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)


It is important to understand carbon (C) dynamics in terrestrial and coastal ecosystems in order to develop a strategy to control carbon dioxide effluxes. However, the factors determining concentrations of riverine carbon are still largely unknown, especially in Southeast Asia. We investigated the spatial distribution of dissolved and particulate organic carbon (DOC and POC, respectively) and suspended sediment (SS) concentrations in the Kemena and Tatau rivers of Sarawak, Malaysia, in 2011, 2012 and 2013. There are large variations in DOC and POC concentrations in both rivers and their spatial patterns also differ. DOC concentrations did not vary over the sampling years and mainly depended on the distribution of tropical peatland within the watershed. Excitation-emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy with parallel factor analysis showed that DOC supplied from peatland is distinctive though the fluorescence characteristics do not change with the creation of plantations. SS and POC concentrations were slightly higher in logged forests and plantations and significantly higher in main rivers than in intact forests. The results suggest that DOC concentrations are geographically controlled by peatland distribution, while intensive plantation development and the resultant soil disturbance can cause an increase in terrestrial POC discharges to the ocean.


Sarawak Dissolved organic carbon Particulate organic carbon Suspended sediment Excitation-emission matrix fluorescence Land-use change 



We wish to acknowledge Wong Ing Yung, John Tasan and Tie Siew Teck of Zedtee Sdn Bhd, Joanes Unggang and Belden Gilman Neilson of Grand Perfect Sdn Bhd, Abdul Aziz Bin Zainal Abidin, Keresa Plantations Sdn Bhd, Logie Sema and many other local people for their assistance with our field survey and sample collection. We also thank Dr Naoko Matsuo and Wataru Hidaka for their assistance with the chemical analysis performed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keitaro Fukushima
    • 1
    Email author
  • Naoko Tokuchi
    • 2
  • Hiromitsu Samejima
    • 3
  • Jason Hon
    • 4
  • Yuichi Kano
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for Ecological ResearchKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Field Science Education and Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Global Environmental StrategiesHayamaJapan
  4. 4.WWF-Malaysia, Sarawak ProgrammeKuchingMalaysia
  5. 5.Institute of Decision Science for a Sustainable SocietyKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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