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Tropical South American Peatlands: distribution, impacts of disturbance and knowledge gaps


Tropical South American Peatlands: distribution, impacts of disturbance and knowledge gaps

Mon, July 11, 14:00 - 16:00 hrs, Room: 201


Kristell Hergoualc’h

This session presents research into the distribution of South American peatlands, the influence of disturbance on peatland functioning and highlights knowledge gaps where further research is needed.

Large areas of peatlands exist across South America, especially in lowland Amazonia and in the Andean highlands. These peatlands are extensive, they cover an estimate 750,000 km2, store approximately 150 Pg C in the peat, host an invaluable regional species diversity, regulate hydrological processes and provide commercially valuable non-timber forest resources. Our understanding of the extent of South American peatlands and the ecological functioning of different peat forming vegetation has greatly improved in recent years, particularly in Peru. However, in other regions predictions of peatland distribution and their roles and functions remain limited. Furthermore, whilst large areas of peatlands in this region are believed to be intact, some areas have undergone degradation, altering their ecological functioning, greenhouse gas flux (GHG) exchange to the atmosphere and carbon stocks. This session will encompass a set of presentations to improve our understanding about 1) the distribution and formation of peatlands across South America, 2) the influence of disturbance on peatland GHG fluxes and ecological functioning, and 3) highlight key knowledge gaps across the region where further research is urgently needed.

What do we know about Peruvian peatlands? Ecosystem services, threats, and regulatory framework
Mariela Lopez*, Kristell Hergoualc’h, Timothy Baker, Rodney Chimner, Eurídice Honorio Coronado, Erik Lilleskov, Ana Maria Planas-Clarke, Oscar Angulo Nuñez, John del Aguila Pasquel, Dennis del Castillo Torres, Luis Freitas Alvarado, Beatriz Fuentealba Durand, Erick García Gonzalez, Eurídice Honorio Coronado, Hirose Kazuyo, Natalia Málaga, Mónica Maldonado Fonkén, Manuel Martín Brañas, Tony Mori Vargas, Katherine Roucoux and Faustino Vacalla Ochoa

Elevation and temperature are strong predictors of long-term carbon accumulation across tropical Andean mountain peatlands
John Hribljan, Moira Hough*, Erik Lilleskov, Esteban Suarez, Katherine Heckman, Ana Maria Planas-Clarke and Rodney Chimner

Methane and carbon dioxide fluxes in drained and undrained tropical mountain peatlands in Colombia
Luisa Merchán*, Angela Lafuente, Juan Benavides, Erik Lilleskov, Rodney Chimner and Daniek Roman

Using remote sensing to map degraded mountain peatlands with high climate mitigation potential in the wet Tropical Andes
Juan Benavides*, Erik Lilleskov, Angela Lafuente, Nicolás Patrick, Laura Bourgeau-Chavez, Michael Battaglia and Rodney Chimner

Differing depth-mediated shifts in methanogen and methanotroph communities among tropical Andean mountain peatlands
Angela Lafuente*, Louis Lamit, Rodney Chimner and Erik Lilleskov

Major CO2 losses from degradation of Mauritia flexuosa peat swamp forests in western Amazonia
Kristell Hergoualc’h*, Jeffrey , Nelda Dezzeo, Julio Grandez, Mariela Lopez and Louis Verchot


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