Interrelationships between hydrology and ecology in fire degraded tropical peat swamp forests

  • Wösten J
  • Van Den Berg J
  • Van Eijk P
 et al. 
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Interrelationships between hydrology and ecology are established for the Air Hitam Laut watershed in Jambi Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. The developed relational diagram shows how modelled regional groundwater levels and flooding patterns are related to the occurrence of different vegetation types in this endangered peatland watershed. In dry conditions when groundwater levels are deeper than 1m below soil surface, fire disasters are unavoidable. When areas susceptible to fire actually burn and both vegetation and peat disappear, the total inundated area will expand with a factor five. In wet conditions with groundwater levels of more than 1mabove soil surface for a prolonged period of time, flooding creates lakes where no plant species can regrow. In the intermediate range, rehabilitation of different plant species is promising and is related to the actual hydrological regime.

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  • J. Henk M Wösten

  • J. Van Den Berg

  • P. Van Eijk

  • G. J M Gevers

  • W. B J T Giesen

  • A. Hooijer

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