Battling extreme heat and the threat of impending fires, a team of 30 Indonesian and Australian researchers and technicians has successfully installed a suite of automated environmental monitoring infrastructure in a 10,000 km2 degraded peatland in Kalimantan, Indonesia.
A 10 m tall sensor-laden eddy-covariance flux tower now captures detailed data on the exchanges of energy, CO2, methane and water between the land and atmosphere, while on-ground sensors track soil moisture throughout seasonal changes. The tower sits in a 50,000 ha heavily drained and degraded section of a tropical peat swamp forest. The forest is managed by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, BOSF-Mawas Program, as part of their 309,000 ha landscape-scale environmental monitoring, forest restoration and conservation efforts.
A year in the planning, the five-day field campaign combined world-leading scientific expertise with in-depth local knowledge and logistical support. Dr Samantha Grover, a soil scientist and lecturer at Australia' RMIT University says that Indonesian and Australian researchers and government land managers will use the data collected to assess the success of efforts to restore the peatland from degraded peatland to tropical peat swamp forest.
Staff and students Nafila, Amanda, Riska, Samantha and Wiwin satisfied with the team’s hard work at the end of the 5-day installation campaign
Samantha says that students from the University of Palangka Raya and RMIT University were a key part of the installation campaign, learning and contributing to the instrument set up. Zafruallah Damanik, a researcher and project leader from the University of Palangka Raya says:
Staff from the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation install the ‘Chameleon’ soil-moisture sensor
Professor Jason Beringer of the University of Western Australia was one of the Australian scientists called upon to help the team install the monitoring equipment.
Planning for a second socialisation workshop with local government stakeholders, including a field visit component as well as sharing the initial data collected by the team, is underway. We look forward to updating you on the progress of these exciting events and plans via future editions of the TERN eNewsletter. Congratulations to the team and all involved in this wonderful bilateral project.
Methane, carbon dioxide, wind speed and direction sensors mounted at the top of the tower facing into the wind, enabling the tower to measure the fluxes of greenhouse gases from the degraded peatland 10 times a second
Part of the 30-strong Indonesian and Australian team after successfully installing the suite of automated environmental monitoring infrastructure
Published in TERN newsletter October 2019