Peat swamp forests are one of the most important peatland ecosystems because these ecosystems consist of the carbon-water complex, which is affected by the impact of human and climate change.
The world tropical peatland found in the Indonesian and Malaysian archipelagos, the Amazon and the Central African lowlands consists of 42 Mha and is estimated to store approximately 148 Gt of carbon. Tropical peat-swamp forests in Southeast Asia have the large area of peat and support luxuriant growth of peat-swamp tree species overlying peat deposits up to 20 meters thick. Indonesia contains 47% of the global area of tropical peatland.
However, the area of tropical peat swamp forests has been declining owing to illegal logging, fire, conversion into agricultural lands, palm oil and rubber tree plantation, and forest plantation estate for pulp trees. In order to restore this ecosystem immediately, it is necessary to select and produce high-quality tree seedling species for rehabilitation. Mycorrhizas could affect the maintenance of vegetation in various ecosystems, and may play an important role in restoration of degraded peat-swamp forest.
The project named “Application of mycorrhizal fungi for restoration ecosystem of degraded tropical peat swamp forests in Indonesia” was collaborated with Forest Research and Development Centre, Forestry and Environment Research, Development and Innovation Agency (FOERDIA) of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia. The objectives are to promote using mycorrhizal fungi for reforestation and to advance education relating to sustainable living and forest protection in the communities.
It is a 5 year project. Two demonstration plots are prepared 10 Ha per each. The first demonstration plot is in Central Kalimantan and the second demonstration plot is in South Sumatera which is the ex-palm oil plantation. The project is led by Dr. Ir. Maman Turjaman, a Senior Scientist in Forest Research and Development Centre who has over 20 years of ectomycorrhizal research.
PHOTO 1: Two types of seedling containers will be provided for mass production of seedlings at nursery of two demonstration plots in Central Kalimantan and South Sumatera.
PHOTO2: a flooded peat swampy forest in Central Kalimantan