Current knowledge on the Cuvette Centrale peatland complex and future research directions

George Elliot Biddulph, Yannick Enock Bocko, Pierre Bola, Bart Crezee, Greta C. Dargie*, Ovide Emba, Selena Georgiou, Nicholas Girkin, Donna Hawthorne, Jonay Jovani-Sancho, Joseph Kanyama T., Wenina Emmanuel Mampouya, Mackline Mbemba, Matteo Sciumbata, Genevieve Tyrell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The Cuvette Centrale is the largest tropical peatland complex in the world, covering approximately 145,000 km2 across the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It stores ca. 30.6 Pg C, the equivalent of three years of global carbon dioxide emissions and is now the first trans-national Ramsar site. Despite its size and importance as a global carbon store, relatively little is known about key aspects of its ecology and history, including its formation, the scale of greenhouse gas flows, its biodiversity and its history of human activity. Here, we synthesise available knowledge on the Cuvette Centrale, identifying key areas for further research. Finally, we review the potential of mathematical models to assess future trajectories for the peatlands in terms of the potential impacts of resource extraction or climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalBois et Forêts des Tropiques
Volume350
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Anthropocene
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Tropical peatland
  • Carbon storage
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Palaeoecology
  • Biodiversity

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