Dr Zafrullah Damanik1, Dr. FENGKY FLORANTE ADJI1, Dr. Nina Yulianti1, Dr. Laura Graham2, Ms Amanda Sinclair3, Dr. Samantha Groover3
1Cimtrop, University Of Palangka Raya, Palangka Raya, Indonesia, 2Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, Palangka Raya, Indonesia, 3RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
The over drainage due big canals, deforestation and land use change in Kalimantan peatland when Mega Rice Project (MRP) starts caused environmental problems, especially fires and decreased quality of peat soils. The increase of hydrophobicity or irreversible drying is one indicator of the decline in the quality of peat soils. It’s found in degraded and burned peatlands. This study aims to study the effect of land use change on FTIR spectra and its relation to the hydrophobicity of peat soil. Surface soil samples of peat soil were taken from the Mentangai Central Kalimantan region (Block A Ex-MRP Project) with different land uses (secondary forest, burnt, oil palm, and revegetation area), to determine C-organic contents, FTIR spectra and hydrophobicity. The results showed that there were differences in percent of C-aliphatic area and hydrophobicity index between each land use. The parameters of the hydrophobicity index can be used to evaluate the quality of peat soil in relation to land use changes.