They were left untouched and not used for farming. Estimation of GHG emissions from peat used for agriculture with special reference to oil palm. Mal.  Since peat soils are organic in nature, the bulk density is also low. Malaysia’s peatlands mainly consist of peat swamp forest, a critically endangered category of forested wetland characterised by deep layers of peat soil Early dressings with these micronutrients are essential to avoid mid-crown chlorosis, peat yellow and stump leaves respectively. However, due to rapid industrialization and population growth, it has become necessary to have infrastructure facilities and road construction everywhere, including in the peat … Bearing this in mind, United Plantations Berhad (UPB) has developed various novel methods to alleviate the problems and allow successful cultivation of oil palms on deep peat. In some parts of Malaysia, particularly Sarawak, there is not much option as to what type of land to use as the state has large areas of its land mass as peat. Catena 118,179-185. According to Huat (2004), there are 3 million hectares or 8% area in Malaysia covered with peat. Hence, Tropical peat differs from temperate peat due to differences in climate and the plant species that decomposed to form […] MALAYSIA } Soc. Carbon flow and budget in a young mature oil palm agroecosystem on deep tropical peat. Secondly, many tropical peat soils, such as those in Sarawak, have wood fragments in the soil solum. However, we must caution that the problems with planting oil palms on deep peat escalated exponentially with the areas of peat, particularly in relation to the amount of good mineral soils in the plantation. Most of the publications on CO2 emission on drained tropical lowland peat soils have been extrapolated from experiences based on temperate peat. When present, it may be in different stages of decomposition (Photos 1-3). Oil palms are cultivated on peat on a large scale since the mid fifties. Consolidation increases the bulk density from 0.11 to 0.20 g cm-3, reduces the incidences of leaning and fallen palms by half and improves FFB yield by 25%. EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency). No 2, Jalan 51A/223, Section 51A, Rehabilitation and alternative use can still save this rich soil, however. This peat has unique characteristics, which makes it significantly different from other peat. Thus, the break down or decay rate can vary depending on the types of wood present. This research was conducted from November, 2007 to February, 2008. Basically, the drainage system consists of a network of field, collection and main drains (Figure 1), the dimensions of which are: The intensity of drains depends on the topography of the field and planting density but the primary objectives is to keep the water levels at 50 to 75 cm from the surface at most times. 603 - 7806 2272 Trial pits were excavated to a depth of 1 m below the ground surface to measure ground water table and to obtain both undisturbed and disturbed soil samples below the ground water table. Draining peat soils releases carbon dioxide. Oil Palm & The Environment 2010, 1,17-25. Therefore, this part of the lecture note is extensively drawn from a paper written by Gurmit et al. With their soil made up of predominantly organic matter, the world’s peatlands store twice as much carbon dioxide, one of the climate-changing greenhouse gases, as its forests: an estimated 550 gigatons, to be precise. In the Malaysia, a study on water-table management was carried out on shallow and deep peat at MPOB Research Station, Sessang, Sarawak. The high water table and the soft nature of the soil make peat soils soggy and it is not easy to walk on an undrained peat soil without sinking down.   United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given a higher CO2 emission value of 95 tonnes ha-1year-1 based on the study of Hooijer et al. However, over the years, as development progressed, more and more mineral ( non organic)  soils were used up and the borders of the peat swamps were reached. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Sometimes, they can occupy as much as 50% or more of the soil layers. Malaysian Palm Oil-Green Gold or Green Wash? Opinions from 5 experts on CO2 emissions in tropical peat drained for oil palm cultivation*, .table-s{border: 1px solid #cccccc;}
.table-s th{border: 1px solid #cccccc; } .table-s td{border: 1.5px solid #cccccc; background-color:#00868b; color: white;}, Source * EPA (2014) Based on the soil survey and mapping of a total of 700,000 hectares of lowland peat in Southeast Asia, the majority of them can be classified as Saprists (Paramanathan, personal communication). (2013). They are also soft as they are organic (made up of mainly rotting plant materials) in nature. As such, estimations of CO2 emissions are often extrapolated based on data  from temperate peat. Telong, Naman and Bayas) mainly due to the spodic horizon which has an impact on drainage and root proliferation within the 50 cm depth. When these peat soils are drained, the wood fragments do not decompose easily to add on to CO2 emission. This is alleviated by periodic flushing of the drain water, especially during rainstorms, and liming. Most of researchers conducted investigations on the dynamic loading of soft soils such as sand and clay, but only a few had discovered the behaviour of peat in terms of static and dynamic loadings. Proper soil and water management of oil palms on deep peat has resulted in FFB production closely mirroring that on good mineral soils (Figure 3). during the early Malaysian reconnaissance soil surveys. When peatland is drained for oil palm cultivation, break down of the peat materials releases CO2 into the atmosphere. To know the proper methods of ground improvement and to know the scale of improvement works, a proper soil investigation requires. Tropical peat materials, just like temperate peat materials  can be differentiated based on the stage of decomposition.  There are 3 stages of decomposition, namel. } In Malaysia, virgin lowland peat areas are often flooded and swampy. Subsidence and carbon loss in drained tropical peatlands. Veloo,R.,Paramananthan,S., van Ranst,E. Such emissions have an effect on climate change and this needs to be properly addressed. window.mc4wp.listeners.push({ Thus the priority is to provide high N rate (up to 1.2 kg urea palm-1 yr-1) in the initial immature phase and subsequently reduce it during the mature phase (0.5 to 1.25 kg urea palm-1 yr-1). Table 1. Deep acid peat provides an interesting nutritional complexes to agronomists. EPA-420-F-14-061. Peat soils in their natural state are wet with very high water table near to the soil surface. New classification systems for tropical organic rich deposits based on studies of the Tasek Bera Basin, Malaysia, Catena 53,133-163. Thus, the amount of CO2 emission when the peat soil is drained is lower for one that has sapric instead of fibric material. (2014). Land subsidence is a serious problem in Sibu Town with frequent refilling and repairing being carried out to reinstate structures, platforms and Since peat soils are organic in nature, the bulk density is also low. Paramananthan S, Zauyah S, Lim CP, Chan YK, Boaklan D (1984) Proposals for a unified classification of organic soils in Malaysia. The Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute (STROPI) was founded in the year 2008. Malaysia does not use agroecological zones (AEZs) to plan for crop production. CONTACT US peat subsidence (Dawson et al., 2010). Peer review of the emission factor for tropical peatlands drained for palm oil cultivation. Field investigation: For laboratory investigation, peat soil was sampled from the Klang, Peninsular, West Malaysia. New information (Veloo et al., 2014 ) obtained from soil survey and soil classification research carried out in Sarawak, Malaysia is confirming that tropical peat soils are indeed different from temperate peat soils with many of the tropical peat soils containing wood materials in the soil solum. New evidence obtained from detailed soil surveys, mapping and classification shows that the majority of Malaysian lowland peat soils are mainly sapric and with many of them containing wood. The completed operation leaves a 9.5 to 11.5 m wide area free of timber and compacted to a depth of 40 to 50 cm (Figure 2). In the field, CO2 emissions on peatland cultivated with oil palm are found to be on the lower end. })(); Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) Although good response to liming has been obtained the effect is unlikely to be due to Ca. Compared with rocks, soils are softer in terms of strength and more compressible, thus giving more problems to engineering works as compared with rocks. The low bulk density and subsidence earlier present obstacles to road construction and planting. } The completed operation leaves a 9.5 to 3 times over them. Alluvial soils are also known as fluvial soils or alluvium. SUMMARY Peatland in Malaysia covers approximately 2.76 million hectares of which 796,782 hectares are in Peninsular Malaysia (Law and Selvadurai, 1968), 200,600 hectares in Sabah (Acres et al, 1975) and 1,765,547 hectares in Sarawak (Melling, 1999). if (!window.mc4wp) { (1987). Peat swamps in Malaysia may store … ABOUT MPOC Aim of this study is to determine physical and mechanical properties of tropical peatland in West Malaysia. Spent garnet and sand were used as fillers. listeners: [], As such, mapping virgin peat soil areas is not liked by many soil surveyors. Sandy soil within peat areas is proven to perform worse than at least 3 types of peat soil in this case (i.e. This is done by constructing a perimeter drain, the dimensions of which depend on the size of area to be cleared and distance from a river outlet, using an excavator. Large areas of these forests are being logged at high rates. The results in Table 1 show the opinions of the five  experts after their critical evaluations of the problems stated. Although it has high total N content, it also has high C:N ratio, rendering a slow availability of N to the plant. 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor A larger degree of breakdown quickly takes place in a soil with fibric materials when drained, resulting in higher CO2 emission. They are found in peatlands (also called bogs or mires). are overlain with substantial formations of peat soils, almost unrivalled when compared to other parts of Malaysia. Peat soils are formed from partially decomposed plant material under anaerobic water saturated conditions. Before planting, the harvesting path and planting rows are mechanically consolidated by running an excavator 2 to 3 times over them. Field and main roads are now created using spoils from roadside drains, levelled and compacted by bulldozer and then lined with laterite and mining ballasts. In Malaysia, peat has been classified as one of the major soil group. Maintenance of correct water levels is also important since hyperacidity seems to occur only during prolonged dry spell. This has been a consequence of the general lack of information and experience with tropical peat. }); Consequently, aeration is poor and bulk density is very low at less than 0.1 g cm-3. Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund (MPOWCF). Proc. Thus, peat soils are also known as organic soils. As such  sapric, hemic and fibric peat may also have the following wood fragments in the soil solum:-, Photo 1: Deep peat soil in Sarawak, Malaysia without wood.Â, Photo 2: Peat soil in Sarawak, Malaysia with  decomposing wood .Â, Photo 3: Peat soil in Sarawak, Malaysia with  undecomposed wood.Â. Agus,F., Henson,I.E., Suhardjo,B.H., Harris,N., van Noordwijk,M., Killen,T.J. CO2 is emitted when carbon rich peat soils are disturbed for cultivation. Many publications on the CO2 emission on tropical peat extrapolate or use information from work carried out  on temperate peat. Melling,L., Goh,K.J., Beauvais,C., Hatano,R. Table 1. Sample chemical analysis of peat from Jalan Kebun Peat Research Station, West Selangor, Malaysia. RSS, Leading the way in conservation opportunities and efforts, To promote the market expansion of Malaysian plam oil and its products by enhancing the image of palm oil and…, sapric  (very high stage of decomposition), hemic (moderate stage of decomposition) and, Cultivated tropical peat soils have lower CO2 emission than reported. wbmaster@mpoc.org.my, HOME This emission is 4.4 times larger than the emission reported in temperate and boreal peat, which is 15,944 tonnes ha-1year-1 (Oleszczuk, 2008). As such, mapping virgin peat soil areas is not liked by many soil surveyors. International Palm Oil Sustainability Conference. Saprists have very highly decomposed peat materials as shown in Table 2. Apart from this, peat provides an imbalance nutritional medium for plant growth (Table 1). (2010). The mineralisation of peat also releases P to the system, which contains low Al and Fe for fixation. 7th Floor, Menara Axis, It is most probably a result of improved mineralisation rate, increased soil pH and a better cationic-anionic balance in the plant system (Cheong and Ng, 1980). There are 2.4 million hectares of peat in Malaysia, with 1.5 million hectares occurring in Sarawak alone. ARCHIVE SITEMAP In total, Malaysia alone is estimated to have 9 Gt of carbon contained in its peatlands. Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the use of tube wells in the country had been proven effective in dealing with peat soil fires which contributed significantly to the haze problem. In Malaysia, peat soil has been identified as one of the major groups of soils with low shear strength and high compressibility. Peat, in its natural state, contains excessive amount of water due to its low physiography and water holding capacity of 20 to 30 times its own weight. Planting density is also increased to 160 palms ha-1 to attain optimum leaf area index of 6.0 for production by the 10th year on this poor growing medium. window.mc4wp = { The institute was initially established as the Tropical Peat Research Laboratory Unit (TPRL) under the mandate of the Sarawak government. workshop on classification and management of peat in Malaysia. Most oil palm roots are concentrated in the top 50 cm of the peat soil. High natural moisture content, high compressibility, low bearing capacity and medium to low permeability is a problem and characteristic of a peat soil. The result: dangerous, destructive peat fires that produce greenhouse gases and endangering human life and animal habitats. While high water tables are responsible for preventing the organic material from decaying, the flipside is that when these peat soils are drained, they are again exposed to oxygen. For example, Agus et al., (2013) found that the emission from peat oxidation under oil palm cultivation was 43 t CO2 ha-1year-1. Based on this concept, there are probably six groups of problem soils, namely, deep peat; shallow acid sulfate soils; saline soils; shallow lateritic soils; podzols or spodosols, and; sandy soils (quartzipsamments) Each group of soils requires its own specific soil … Hard wood, for example,  is very recalcitrant and can take a long time to break down and emit CO2 during the process. Oleszczuk,R., Regina,K., Szajdak,L., Hoper,H., Maryganova,V. This problem can be solved by reducing the compressibility of the peat soil. The Soil Division of Sarawak (Malaysia) has adopted a definition for organic soil that is based on profile partition, i.e. There are diverse opinions on the suitability of peat soils for general agricultural use Coulter (1957) at one extreme, suggested that peat in peninsular Malaysia should be disposed of as rapidly as possible by removal, burning or deep drainage with the ultimate aim of using the underlying mineral subsoil for growing wet rice. Due consideration should be given out to overdrain the area as this will result in rapid shrinkage of the peat and irreversible drying of the top layer, which adversely affects establishment and growth of oil palms. (function() { Over time, this creates a thick layer of acidic peat. RSPO manual on best management practices for existing oil palm cultivation on peat,pp214. (2012). The planting of  sago palms and oil palms on peat soils were then tried and found to be economically feasible. Excessive P application can leads to lower yield and Cu imbalance (Cheong and Ng, 1977). Peat is form by disintegration of plant and organic matters. Malaysian peat is a tropical peat (Andriesse, 1988). The irreversible drying of the top layer is prevented by maintaining satisfactory water-level of 50 to 70 cm from surface, and good ground vegetation of light grasses and low density of Nephrolepis biserrata . They are formed from the disintegration and decomposition of rocks and also by decomposition of organic materials. However, major problems were encountered especially on deep peat and it was not until the eighties that oil palms are successful grown on it. Tropical lowland peats: to conserve or develop them. The differences in peat classifications had caused difficulties in correlating the peat soils and the transferring of agro-technologies between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. Friends of the Earth.(2008). While total N content can be high (1.3 to 1.5%), its availability is low due to high C:N ratio (Table 1). callback: callback The presence of soft or peaty soil is a major problem in Therefore, only low P rates of 0.5 to 1.0 kg phosphate rock palm-1 yr-1 are generally provided. Upon drainage, peat will undergo irreversible drying and extensive subsidence of 3.6 cm yr-1. Peat swamp forests are typically surrounded by lowland rain forests on better-drained soils, and by brackish or salt-water mangrove forests near the coast. Soils are considered to include all naturally occurring loose or soft deposits overlying the solid bedrock. Table 2 : Chemical properties of undrained and drained peat, and different kinds of organic soil materials, Table 3 : Effect of nitrogen on ffb production. (1987) which showed good FFB response to N in the first 4 years of harvests only (Table 3). Similarly, Melling et al.,(2007) found an emission of 41 t CO2 ha-1year-1 for young mature oil palm area, with root respiration included. It was identified as a one of a major group of soil found in Malaysia. Upon drainage (Table 2), liming and decline in C:N ratio and higher N availability. Yew, F.K., Sundram, K., Yusof, B. Farming is a major economic activity which has been successfully carried out on peatland in Malaysia; starting with planting of vegetables and cash crops such as pineapples and tapioca or cassava during the second half  of the 20th century. Radiah Othman, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Head of Land Management Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University Putra Malaysia. The high water table and the soft nature of the soil  make peat soils soggy and it is not easy to walk on an undrained peat soil without sinking down. (Editors).Proceedings of the International Symposium and Workshop on Tropical Peatland, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Impacts of agricultural utilization of peat soils on the greenhouse gas balance IN Maria Streck (Editor): Peatlands and climate change, International Peat Society, 70-97. The amount of drainage is another critical factor that determines CO2 emission; a higher emission is linked to deeper or more intense drainage. Review of emission factors for assessment of CO2 emission from land use change to oil palm in Southeast Asia.  Technical Panel of the 2nd Greenhouse Gas Working Group of RSPO. In Malaysia as a whole, there are three groups of lowland soils considered as problem soils, namely the sandy soils (Beach ridge [bris] and tin-tailings), peat and acid-sulphate soils. Malaysia, Malaysia) Peat soils impose special problems in Geotechnical Engineering design as well as Civil Engineering and constructions. In Peninsular Malaysia, they are found in the coastal areas of the east and west Temperate peat deposits are also known to be derived from bryophytes and small shrubs while tropical peat deposits are derived from various tree species with root penetration up to several meters  (Wust, 2003). Table 2: Type of peat and expected CO2 emission when drained, .tableizer-table td{color:#000000; border: 1px solid #ccc;}. Moreover, it has low K, Cu, Zn and B and high acidity of pH less than 4.0 (Gourmit et al., 1987). There are 2.4 million hectares of peat in Malaysia, with 1.5 million hectares occurring in Sarawak alone. IN Rieley,J.O., Banks,C.J., Radjagukguk,B. (2014). Tropical peat has not been well studied. Omar R C, Jaafar R and Hassan H 1998 Engineering Geology and Earthwork Problem Associated with Highway Construction in Soft Soil at Sg. This is a major problem for infrastructure development as the geotechnical properties of peat soils are lower than mineral soils. Biogeosciences 9: 1053-1071. In order to rectify these problems, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) in collaboration with Peat swamp forests are tropical moist forests where waterlogged soil prevents dead leaves and wood from fully decomposing. 603 - 7806 4097 event : event, Moreover, blanket spraying may increase the risk of fire and affect the predator-pest balance. In Malaysia, peat, add' sulfate soils, soil on sandy beach deposits, saline soils and soils on ultrabasic rocks are commonly referred to as problem soils. He said construction of roads on peat soil poses great engineering challenges to Sarawak, as compared to road construction in Peninsular Malaysia where peat soil is almost non-existence. EPA carried out a peer review of the emission factor for tropical peatlands drained for oil palm cultivation and the findings were reported in December 2014. Soil Sci., March 1984 Google Scholar On the other hand, potassium is very deficient in peat and hence, high rate of muriate of potash up to 5.0 kg palm-1 yr-1 is recommended (Gurmit et al., 1987). [addw2p name=”problemSoils”] Gondang. Malaysia will introduce to Indonesia the application of tube wells in peat soil areas to stop the perennial haze problem affecting countries in the region. Thus, it is often doubted that this can be done since the factors of peat formation in temperate areas are different from that in tropical areas and the peat will be  different morpho-genetically (Paramanathan,2008; Yew et al., 2010). Wust,R.A.J., Bustin,R.M., Lavkulich,L.M.(2003). The peat formations in some parts of Sibu Town are well over 10 metres in depth. forms : { Oil palm plantations keep a high water table at 50-70 cm by following RSPO’s Best Management Practices for oil palm cultivation on peatland so as to obtain better yields. 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Also important since hyperacidity seems to occur only during prolonged dry spell rate can vary depending on topic! Pointed to the system, which contains low al and Fe for fixation than 0.1 g cm-3 to mid-crown...