Net greenhouse gas balance of fibre wood plantation on peat in Indonesia

Tropical peatlands cycle and store large amounts of carbon in their soil and biomass1,2,3,4,5. Climate and land-use change alters greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes of tropical peatlands, but the magnitude of these changes remains highly uncertain6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19. Here we measure net ecosystem exchanges of carbon dioxide, methane and soil nitrous oxide fluxes between October 2016 and May 2022 from Acacia crassicarpa plantation, degraded forest and intact forest within the same peat landscape, representing land-cover-change trajectories in Sumatra, Indonesia. This allows us to present a full plantation rotation GHG flux balance in a fibre wood plantation on peatland. We find that the Acacia plantation has lower GHG emissions than the degraded site with a similar average groundwater level (GWL), despite more intensive land use. The GHG emissions from the Acacia plantation over a full plantation rotation (35.2 ± 4.7 tCO2-eq ha−1 year−1, average ± standard deviation) were around two times higher than those from the intact forest (20.3 ± 3.7 tCO2-eq ha−1 year−1), but only half of the current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Tier 1 emission factor (EF)20 for this land use. Our results can help to reduce the uncertainty in GHG emissions estimates, provide an estimate of the impact of land-use change on tropical peat and develop science-based peatland management practices as nature-based climate solutions.
© The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Nature, 2023, available online at: . Keywords: carbon cycle; climate-change mitigation; governance; Asia; Indonesia.
Deshmukh, C.S., Susanto, A.P., Nardi, N. et al. Net greenhouse gas balance of fibre wood plantation on peat in Indonesia. Nature 616, 740–746 (2023).