Kumaran, Navnith K. P., Padmalal, Damodaran, Limaye, Ruta B., Vishnu Mohan, S., Jennerjahn, Tim and Gamre, Pradeep G. (2016) Tropical Peat and Peatland Development in the Floodplains of the Greater Pamba Basin, South-Western India during the Holocene. PLOS ONE, 11 (5). e0154297. DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154297.

[img] Text
Jennerjahn 2016.pdf
Restricted to Registered users only
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0.

Download (8MB)

Abstract

Holocene sequences in the humid tropical region of Kerala, South-western (SW) India have preserved abundance of organic—rich sediments in the form of peat and its rapid development in a narrow time frame towards Middle Holocene has been found to be significant. The sub—coastal areas and flood plains of the Greater Pamba Basin have provided palaeorecords of peat indicating that the deposits are essentially formed within freshwater. The combination of factors like stabilized sea level and its subsequent fall since the Middle Holocene, topographic relief and climatic conditions led to rapid peat accumulation across the coastal lowlands. The high rainfall and massive floods coupled with a rising sea level must have inundated > 75% of the coastal plain land converting it into a veritable lagoon—lake system that eventually led to abrupt termination of the forest ecosystem and also converted the floodplains into peatland where accumulation of peat almost to 2.0–3.0 m thickness in coastal lowlands and river basins during the shorter interval in the Middle Holocene. Vast areas of the coastal plains of Kerala have been converted into carbon rich peatland during the Middle Holocene and transforming the entire coastal stretch and associated landforms as one of the relatively youngest peatlands in the extreme southern tip of India. Unlike the uninterrupted formation of peatlands of considerable extent during the Holocene in Southeast Asia, the south Peninsular Indian region has restricted and short intervals of peatlands in the floodplains and coastal lowlands. Such a scenario is attributed to the topographic relief of the terrain and the prevailing hydrological regimes and environmental conditions as a consequence of monsoon variability since Middle Holocene in SW India. Considering the tropical coastal lowlands and associated peatlands are excellent repositories of carbon, they are very important for regional carbon cycling and habitat diversity. The alarming rate of land modification and development is destabilizing these carbon pools resulting in large scale carbon emissions to the atmosphere and loss of low-latitude peat palaeorecords. Therefore, these palaeorecords are to be conserved and addressed for better understanding and utilizing the carbon pool for effective climate change adaptation. This communication is the first attempt of addressing the peat formation and peatland development during the Holocene from the tropical region of Peninsular India.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: Affiliations > Not ZMT
Biogeochemistry and Geology > Ecological Biogeochemistry
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154297
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2019 12:58
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:59
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/2297

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item