Biodiversity of tropical peatland in southeast Asia

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J. O. Rieley
Book (published in): 
Proceedings of the 15th International Peat Congress
biodiversity, peat swamp forest, deforestation, plantations



Natural lowland peat swamps of Southeast Asia support forest vegetation forming a catena of types from their perimeter to centre, a change that is reflected in variations in canopy height, peat thickness, waterlogging and nutrient availability. Recognition of the biological, environmental and economic importance of tropical peatlands has been a slow process. The earliest interest in the peat swamp forests of Southeast Asia was in the 1930s b British foresters working in the former British Protectorates of Malaya, Sarawak and Brunei and Dutch scientists in Kalimantan and Sumatra. The ecological and taxonomic studies of peat swamp forests of northern Borneo by J.A.R.Anderson became a benchmark for all subsequent research on tropical peatland. Many plant species are restricted to...