SEMINÁRIO EM ECOLOGIA E EVOLUÇÃO
Ecosystem Functioning in Tropical Peat Swamp Forests
Catherine Yule da Universidade Monash, Malásia
Associate Professor Cathy Yule is Deputy Head of School (Education) in the School of Science at Monash University’s campus in Malaysia where she has lived for the past 18 years. She is an Australian aquatic ecologist who did pioneering work on tropical aquatic ecology for her PhD on Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea. Her research interests focus on ecosystem functioning in tropical streams and peat swamp forests.
Her talk entitled ‘Ecosystem Functioning in Tropical Peat Swamp Forests’ will introduce the regional peat swamp forest of the Indo-Malaysian region. The tropical peat swamp forests of the Indo-Malaysian region are unique ecosystems characterized by waterlogged peat substrate, low pH (typically 2.9-4.5), low nutrients, and extremely slow litter decomposition. They are the most carbon-rich freshwater ecosystems in the world, storing carbon in peat layers up to 25 m deep and vegetation with trees up to 70m tall. Ongoing destruction of these swamp forests by logging, drainage and fire – mostly for conversion to oil palm – has immense local and global environmental impacts.