Forest Structure and Productivity of Tropical Heath and Peatland Forests

  • Kazuki Miyamoto
  • Takashi S. Kohyama
  • Joeni Setijo Rahajoe
  • Edi Mirmanto
  • Herwint Simbolon


Allometric relationships between tree dimensions, aboveground forest structure and productivity were examined in tropical heath (kerangas) forest and peatland forest in Central Kalimantan, to determine the stand level properties of these forest types growing under stressful conditions, by comparing with those in mixed dipterocarp forests. In the peatland forest, tree density, trunk diameter-height relationships and aboveground biomass differed between sites, partly due to differences in disturbance history such as the intensity of selective logging in the past. The heath and peatland forests shared common characteristics such as high leaf mass per area and long leaf residence time at the stand level. Both forest types had high wood mass increment rates (maximum of 8.2 Mg ha−1 year−1 in the heath forest and 10.9 Mg ha−1 year−1 in the peatland forest), which fluctuated greatly during and after the severe 1997–1998 drought. The results here suggest that the heath and peatland forests maintain moderately high productivity under stressful conditions, probably owing to the adaptive leaf properties. The results also suggest that the aboveground forest structure of these forest types as well as peat deposit has the potential to play a significant role in the carbon balance in an area. To be able to properly conserve these forest ecosystems, more attention must be paid to elucidating the mechanisms maintaining primary productivity of heath and peatland forests.


Tropical heath forest Kerangas Peat swamp forest Allometry Biomass Productivity 



We are grateful to the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) for granting the permission to conduct the research here. We thank Suwido H. Limin, Sulmin Gumili, and Sehat Jaya Tuah for their kind support in administrative arrangements, staff of LIPI and students of University of Palangka Raya for their support in the fieldwork. Our thanks are also due to Eizi Suzuki, Tatsuyuki Seino and Takashi B. Nishimura for their support in the fieldwork and for helpful suggestions on our research. This study was carried out as a part of SATREPS (Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development) project entitled as “Wild fire and carbon management in peat-forest in Indonesia” founded by JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency) and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuki Miyamoto
    • 1
  • Takashi S. Kohyama
    • 2
  • Joeni Setijo Rahajoe
    • 3
  • Edi Mirmanto
    • 3
  • Herwint Simbolon
    • 3
  1. 1.Shikoku Research CenterForestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI)KochiJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Environmental Earth ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Research Center for BiologyThe Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)BogorIndonesia

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