The Geochemistry of Amazonian Peats

Ian T. Lawson*, Timothy D. Jones, Thomas J. Kelly, Euridice N. Honorio Coronado, Katherine H. Roucoux

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The chemical, physical and palaeobotanical composition of peat can be used to infer the history of a peatland and the processes presently operating within it. Here we present new data on the geochemistry of a peat sequence from a lowland palm swamp, Quistococha, in Peruvian Amazonia. We show, through comparison with subfossil pollen data from the same sequence, that changes in the depositional environment cause changes in peat properties including lignin content, C/N ratios, and the abundance of several metal cations, but that these properties are altered by post-depositional processes to a large extent. An upward trend in the top 1.5 m of the sequence in the concentrations of N, K, Ca, Mg and Na probably reflects nutrient uptake and cycling by the standing biomass. Upward trends in Mn and Fe concentrations suggest that limited oxygenation of the peat may occur to a similar depth. Comparison with other published records suggests that such deep biological alteration may be characteristic of tropical forested peats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-915
Number of pages11
JournalWetlands Ecology and Management
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Keywords

  • Inorganic geochemistry
  • Lignin
  • Cations
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Water table
  • Pollen
  • SEDIMENTARY ORGANIC-MATTER
  • TRACE-ELEMENTS
  • ACCUMULATION RATES
  • OMBROTROPHIC PEAT
  • CLIMATE-CHANGE
  • TROPICAL PEAT
  • DEEP PEAT
  • CARBON
  • FOREST
  • BOGS

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