Tropical peat properties post repeated fires in Indonesia

Dr Nina Yulianti1, Dr. Fengky  Florante Adji1, Dr Zafrullah  Damanik1, Dr Yanetri Asi1

1University Of Palangka Raya, Palangka Raya, Indonesia

The total area of peatland in Central Kalimantan Province is the second largest in Indonesia, where is distributed in the southern part. However, the peatland had experience annual forest and peat fire. This repeated disaster could have the impact on the peat characteristics This study is a preliminary research to investigate the chemistry, physic, biology and thermal properties from several peatland sites in Central Kalimantan. Peat samples were from Pulang Pisau, Palangka Raya, Kapuas, Katingan and Kotawaringin Timur. The sample collection of had been done post 2015 and 2009 severe fire, from the end of dry to the rain season. The sampling method was simple random sampling with three replication point. The peat sample took from the depth from 0 to 50 cm below the surface. The parameters in this study were pH, organic C, macro nutrient, bases, CEC, BS, water content, bulk density, fiber content, color, fungal and bacterial populations and calorific value. The characteristics of peat fertility were interpreted using the TOR Center for Soil Research (1983). The results showed that peat had a very acidic condition (< 4) even though in some agricultural locations with calcification treatment, C-total was very high (> 50%, except in shallow peat), N-total varied from moderate to very high, K-dd was very the high, CEC was very high, and base saturation was very low. In the study location, peat color was black and blackish brown with had mature decomposition, the bulk density was lowest than 0.3 g cm-3 and the water content ranged from 148-234%. Furthermore, the fungal population is more than the bacterial population on high acidity peat. The peat from Pulang Pisau location, shows that the heating value maximum was 26 kJg-1. The result of this study is expected to be a reference in peatland management in Indonesia.


Nina Yulianti is is an Associate Professor in University of Palangka Raya. Currently, she is a head of research group of fire and emission in Center for International Cooperation in Sustainable Management of Tropical Peatland (CIMTROP). She is a member of Objective 3 of  ACIAR Project “Improving Community Fire Management and Peatland Rehabilitation in Indonesia holds a PhD from Hokkaido University in Human Environmental Systems. Her expertise is Environmental science; forest and peatland fire analysis; peatland ecology; agroclimatology. Her research and teaching span experimental, field observation and remote sensing approaches, with particular focus on sustainable ecosystems. She is interested in the conservation and management of tropical and boreal peatland through the lens of geology, biology and society.

A decadal long assessment of soil carbon, fire and vegetation in the monsoonal tropics of Australia

A/Prof. Greg Hancock1

1The University Of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia

Long-term soil data sets reporting soil properties for many parts of the world are limited particularly for the monsoonal tropics. We assess soil organic carbon along two hillslope transects in the tropical monsoonal north of Australia over a 14 year period (2002 – 2015). The study catchment is largely undisturbed by European agriculture or management practices. Wildfire occurs every 2nd year on average removing all vegetation. Field data demonstrates that soil organic carbon has remained stable despite regular fire occurrence. Vegetation (above ground biomass) significantly contributed to SOC. The spatial pattern of biomass was stable despite the regular fire – hence the stability of soil organic carbon. Soil organic carbon was also related to erosion and deposition patterns. Annual rainfall total also influenced soil organic carbon with higher annual rainfall increasing soil organic carbon for that year. The landscape has spatially stable vegetation, stable soil organic carbon and is resilient to fire.


Does higher mineral N stabilize extant soil organic C in grasslands?

Dr Tanvir Shahzad1, Dr Sabir Hussain1, Dr  Faisal  Mahmood1

1Department Of Environmental Sciences & Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan

Microbial-N mining theory states that if fresh-C is provided under limited N, microbes mine soil organic-matter (SOM) to release mineral-N in order to assimilate the fresh-C thereby leading to increased SOM mineralization. Whereas, in excess N, microbes assimilate the fresh-C using the excess mineral N implying that higher N promotes SOM stabilization. However, it’s unclear whether this theory holds in the presence of plants. We grew L. perenne (Lp) in monocultures with different mineral N supply or in mixed culture with T. repens (Lp+Tr) for N supply via N-fixation. Bare soils were used as controls. Lp were either supplied with high (Lp-N++, 120 kg-N-ha-1) or low N (Lp-N+, 120 kg-N-ha-1) 141 and 342 days after sowing. All the pots were kept under continuous 13C labelling to distinguish soil- (Rs) and plant-derived CO2-C (Rp). The difference of Rs between planted and bare soils were called rhizosphere priming effect (RPE). The Lp-N++ did not differ in terms of RPE with Lp-N+ for most of 504 days except between 289 to 402 days when high-N-induced growth induced higher RPE in Lp-N++. The RPE in Lp + Tr where N was being fixed, remained higher than that in Lp monocultures. The specific RPE (RPE/Rp) was significantly lower in Lp+Tr whereas it was similar for Lp-N++ and Lp-N+ treatments, indicating that the availability of fresh C (high vs low plant growth) controlled the RPE, and not the mineral N. In conclusion, microbial N mining theory doesn’t hold in live soil-plant systems.


The effect of distance from drainage canals on the characteristics of the inland peat in Central Kalimantan (Case study: Blocking canal and rewetting effect)

Dr Fengky Florante Adji1, Dr Zafrullah  Damanik1, Dr Nina Yulianti1, Dr Rony Teguh2, Prof Komang Suastika3

1Faculty of Agriculture, University Of Palangka Raya, Palangka Raya, Indonesia, 2Faculty of Engineering, University of Palangka Raya, Palangka Raya, Indonesia, 3Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Palangka Raya, Palangka Raya, Indonesia

Indonesia has the widest peatland among tropical countries, which is around 14.9 million ha (7.8%) of the total area of Indonesia (191.09 million ha). The area of peatland in Central Kalimantan is estimated to cover an area of 2.65 million ha or around 16.7% of the total area of Central Kalimantan Province (15,798 million ha) (BBSDLP, 2013). Peatlands have several strategic functions, such as hydrological functions, as a sequester of carbon (C) and biodiversity that are important for the comfort of the environment and animal life. The function change of peatland for other uses (agriculture), of course will cause changes in the condition of the land, related to the physical, chemical and biological properties of the land.

Peat land clearing, excessive drainage, and frequent fires are considered as contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are a “time bomb” for the environment in the next 50 – 100 years. Hooijer et al. (2006) estimate that Indonesia’s peatland contributes 2,000 Mega tons (Mt) of CO2 per year from total CO2 emissions of 3,000 Mt per year, thus placing Indonesia as the third highest GHG producer in the world after the United States of America and China. Regarding the blocking canal and rewetting effect that has not yet been obtained accurate data regarding its impact on peatlands.

The results obtained from this study are that the distance from the drainage canal shows a difference in ground water level as a result of the canal and the influence of blocking canals. However, water conditions in the upstream area are influenced by the presence of water (dam) construction, which caused altitudes to vary around 10 – 20 cm with downstream areas.


my research interest is in carbon flux and dissolved carbon in tropical peatlands especially in burnt area and natural area. I have an experience in CO2, CH4, and N2O measurements by using chamber method and also have a kinds collaboration with others (institution) exp. BRG, CIFOR, USAID, JICA, Kyoto University, Hokkaido University, Fair venture Worldwide, local government, etc.

The effect of ecological restoration on soil organic matter in semi-arid land: A chronosequence study in the Kubuqi Desert

Dr Liwei Chai1

1Peking University, Beijing, China

My name is Chai Liwei, and I am right now a PhD candidate of Environmental Sciences in Peking University. Our research mainly focused on soil organic matter dynamic during artificial ecological restoration and its potential biological mechanism in semi-arid land. Our studies tried to elucidate the decomposition change of soil organic matter, especially in the view of organic matter with different bio-availability, during ecological restoration project. To do so, we are using traditional organic matter analytical method in combine with emerging spectrographic technique (Excitation-emission matrix) and microorganism analytical technique (soil enzyme assay and high-throughput sequencing). We hope our study could help us understand the biological induced organic matter accumulation process during anthropogenic ecological restoration and therefore provide direction in the future ecological movement.


My name is Chai Liwei, and I am right now a PhD candidate of Environmental Sciences in Peking University. Our research mainly focused on soil organic matter dynamic during artificial ecological restoration and its potential biological mechanism in semi-arid land. Our studies tried to elucidate the decomposition change of soil organic matter, especially in the view of different bio-availability, during ecological restoration project. To do so, we are using traditional organic matter analytical method in combine with emerging spectrographic technique (Excitation-emission matrix) and microorganism analytical technique (soil enzyme assay and high-throughput sequencing). We hope our study could help us understand the biological induced organic matter accumulation process during anthropogenic ecological restoration and therefore provide direction in the future ecological movement.

Pattern of soil organic matter content in reclaimed tide lands with different reclamation time in Korea

Dr Jin-hee Ryu1, Dr Yang-Yeol Oh1, Dr Su-hwan Lee1, Mr Jae-won Jeong1, Dr jeong-Tae Lee1

1National Institute Of Crop Science, RDA, Wanju-gun, South Korea

In Korea, reclamation projects have been pushed forward to build 135,100ha of reclaimed tide lands from 1965 to 2020. In order to utilize the reclaimed tide lands as competitive farm lands, the government has been pursuing comprehensive development of the reclaimed lands. To provide basic data for rational land-use and soil management, we investigated soil physical and chemical properties for 11 reclaimed tide lands with different reclamation time from 2013 to 2016. Soil analysis results showed that annual mean value of soil EC was in the range of 5.1 to 8.3 dS m-1 and continued to decrease over the years. Average value of soil organic matter(SOM) content of the reclaimed tide lands ranged from 2 to 17 g kg-1 in 2016. The reclaimed tide land with longer years after reclamation tended to have higher SOM content. The estimation equation for the SOM was y = 4.3183e0.08x (R2=0.5196), where y = SOM content, x = years after reclamation. Cation exchange capacity(CEC) increased with the increase of SOM content. The higher SOM content in the reclaimed tide lands with longer years after reclamation was attributed to input of organic matter and growth of roots during crop cultivation. As the years after reclamation had elapsed, SOM had increased but was still far from adequate level for crop cultivation. It was found that management for continuous enhancement of SOM content would be important for efficient agricultural use of the reclaimed tide lands


  1. 8 : Ph.D. in Soil Science, Chungnam University
  2. 2 : M.S. in Soil Science, Chungnam University
  3. 2 : B.S. in Agricultural Chemistry, Korea University
  4. 8. 4 ~ Present : Reclaimed Land Agriculture Research Div. National Institute of Crop Science(NICS), RDA, Korea


Environmental effects of growing plants in the crop rotation differing in the amount of organic matter flowing in

Dr Dorota Pikuła1

1Institute Of Soil Science And Plant Cultivation State Research Institute, Puławy , Poland

Introduction: Tracing of changes in soil quality as influenced  by different farming practices, such as crop rotations or fertilization requires long-term field studies (Reeves 1997, West and Post 2002).  Such studies are particularly relevant to soil organic matter (SOM), the most important indicator of soil quality, which is also the most often reported attribute due to its impact on other physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soils. Results of long-term field experiments clearly indicate that organic amendments, particularly with animal manures, diversified crop rotation systems with proper application of mineral fertilizers leading to higher crop yields and thus to higher amounts of postharvest residues are beneficial for sustaining or accumulation of soil organic matter (SOM) in agricultural soils.  In this study, based on a long-term field experiment, we report that even large input of organic matter, including farm yard manure and mustard  may  have a beneficial or negative  effects for light soil.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare selected biological and chemical characteristics of un-limed soil on which for over 30 years crops were grown in two crop rotations similar with respect to N fertilization and manure application but differing with respect to total organic matter input (mustard green manure, one year clover-grass ley).

Material and method: The study was conducted on the basis of a three-factor long-term field experiment carried on since 1980 at the Experimental Station Grabów of the Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation in Puławy (Poland), on a soil classified Albic Luvisol  with loamy sand texture. The experiment includes two 4-years crop rotations (I factor) with the following crops: rotation A – recognized as reducing SOM (maize for grain, winter wheat, spring barley and corn for silage] and rotation B – considered to enriching SOM (maize for grain, winter wheat (after w. wheat harvest  mustard is grown as green manure), spring barley with undersown clover-grass mixture, clover-grass ley).  Within each rotation field application rates of farm yard manure (II factor) and inorganic N fertilizer (III factor) were varied in a split-plot design replicated in four blocks per field. Manure rates assigned to main plots are as follows: 0, 20, 40, 60 and 80 t/ha. Manure is applied in the autumn preceding potatoes (presently maize) once per 4-year cycle.  Four N fertilizer rates (N0, N1, N2 and N3) were assigned in 1988 to plots within each main plots, that is per manure rate. In this experiment wheat straw and barley straw is harvested and no lime is applied to demonstrate buffering properties of farm yard manure (FYM).

Results: The soil in RotB with an increased input of OM (GM and 1-year GCL),  which accumulated significantly larger amounts of soil organic carbon and soil microbial biomass C, had higher activities of dehydrogenase and acid phosphatase enzymes and gave significantly higher winter wheat grain yields compared to the soil in RotA. However, in the absence of liming, the soil in RotB, contrary to that in RotA, became more acidic, reduced the  activity of alkaline phosphatase, showed lower contents of Ca and Mg, and contained a diminished proportion of the >0.5 mm macroaggregates fraction. These soil deteriorative effects of crop rotations delivering larger amounts of OM have not been reported so far. In both rotations FYM applied once per 4-year rotation at 40 Mgha−1 improved all the tested soil properties and had mitigating effects on the negative changes found in the soil of RotB. Fractions of humic acids, fulvic acids and humins, and biomass characteristics of soil microorganisms were higher in B-crop rotation than in A-crop rotation, which indicates a better and more stable quality of organic matter, including shifting.


–  Research on the dynamics of carbon in the soil

– Studies on the determination of soil organic matter  and determination of fractional composition of humus

Achievements in the field of industrial property rights: patents, patent applications

Professional memberships

MOEL – Mittel und Osteuropaischer Lander (2006)

“PROFICIENCY” (2009-2014). Scientific training – Soil Quality. Slovakia, Nitra, Agricultural University in Nitra, project Proficiency: Different methods of fractionation of soil humus, creating databases Corg. in soil, carbon management index in the soil (1-29 November, 2010).

– Executor of subtask of the research project “Compatibility of Agricultural Management Practices and Types of Farming in the EU to enhance Climate Change Mitigation and Soil Health (CATCH-C)” (2012-2014). Netherlands, Wageningen UR, Plant Research International  B.V. Business Unit Agrosystems Research, October 2013: ,,Developing of  biometric results of long – term field experiment”.

– Manager and executor of the statutory topic ,,Specyfying of the values of reproduction and degradation coefficients of soils organic matter (SOM), (statutory grant of Ministry of Science and Higher Education) (2008-2011).

– Manager and executor of the statutory topic ,,Assessment of the quantity and quality of soil organic matter, depending on fertilization and selection of plants in crop rotation “, (statutory grant of Ministry of Science and Higher Education (2012-2015).

Possible relationship between silicon versus carbon – a case study in rice and sugarcane soils of Karnataka, India

Mr Sabyasachi  Majumdar1, Dr Nagabovanalli B. Prakash1

1University Of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, Bangalore, India, 2University Of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, Bangalore, India

Although numerous studies have indicated the importance of silicon (Si) for various crops and substantial contribution of agricultural ecosystems to global carbon (C) balance, yet the Si-C interaction in agricultural ecosystems have not been well recognised and/or understood poorly so far. An attempt was made to explore the prospects of any possible relationship existing between the carbon fractions [total organic carbon (TOC), inorganic carbon (IC) and total carbon (TC)] and readily soluble Si pools [viz., dissolved Si (DSi), adsorbed Si (AdSi) and amorphous Si (ASi) from profile soil samples collected from four different agro-climatic zones [southern dry zone (SDZ), southern transition zone (STZ), coastal zone (CZ) and central dry zone (CDZ)] of Karnataka where rice and sugarcane were being continuously cultivated for more than a decade. Irrespective of the crop, AdSi and ASi showed negative correlation with TOC and TC, whereas DSi recorded positive and negative correlation with TOC and IC, respectively. However in soil profiles of sugarcane, AdSi correlated significantly and negatively with TOC whereas significant positive correlation noticed between DSi and TOC. This suggests that TOC may perhaps act as a potential source of readily soluble Si or DSi in rice and sugarcane soils of Karnataka. In rice soils of SDZ, TC recorded significant positive correlation with DSi. However, ASi showed significant positive correlation with TOC and TC but correlated significantly negatively with IC in rice soils of CDZ. Therefore, TC and TOC are the main source of DSi and ASi in rice soils of SDZ and CDZ, respectively. Moreover, in sugarcane soils of CZ, DSi correlated significantly and positively with TOC and TC which might be attributed to higher TOC and TC content recorded in CZ. Hence, TOC and TC can be considered as a potential source of DSi in sugarcane soils of CZ. However, DSi showed significant negative correlation with TOC and TC in sugarcane soils of CDZ. Thus, it can be concluded that in sugarcane soils of CDZ, IC is a main source for DSi. This can be validated by the higher pH prevailing in CDZ which might have resulted in accumulation of higher calcium carbonates that act as a source of IC.


Mr. Sabyasachi Majumdar registered at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore in the Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry for pursuing his Ph.D during July 2014. He is working on the topic “Quantification of readily soluble silicon pools, carbon fractions and distribution of phytoliths in rice and sugarcane soils” under the supervision of Dr. N. B. Prakash. Mr. Majumdar has been awarded with prestigious INSPIRE Fellowship by Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, New Delhi, Government of India during 2015 for a period of five years. He has worked as INSPIRE-JRF from 08-04-2015 to 20-04-2017 and since 21-04-2017 he is working as INSPIRE-SRF. Mr. Majumdar has cleared the comprehensive examination for Ph.D with flying colours and recently submitted his thesis for external evaluation.

Arsenic mitigation and soil health improvement by using Biochar as a organic amendment

N.U.Mahmud1, D. Hossain2, A. Sarker3, G.K.M.M. Rahman4

1Senior Scientific Officer, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Bangladesh; 2Professor, Department of Soil Science, Patuakhali Science and Technology  University (PSTU), Bangladesh; 3Regional Program Coordinator, South Asia & China  Program & Principal Food Legume Breeder, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) NASC Complex, DPS Marg, New Delhi-110012, India; 4Professor, Department of Soil Science, Bangabandhu Sheikh MujiburRahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU), Bangladesh

Corresponding author. Tel: +8801912532303, E-mail:

The research area was selected Faridpur Sadar sub-district of Bangladesh. This area belongs to the agro-ecological zone (AEZ 12) namely Low Gangas River Floodplain (between 23o29’ and 23o44’ latitude and 89o 41’ and 89o 56’ Longitude). Arsenic contamination in crop lands has been a serious concern because of its high health risk through soil-food chain transfer. Arsenic (As) concentrations in soil, plant tissues and grain were evaluated in a field experiment following the transplantation of lentil (Lens culinaris)   heavily As contaminated soil in Faridpur district of Bangladesh (38.2 ppm total As) receiving an rice husk biochar amendment, with all fertilizer and intercultural activities. A close investigation was also performed to established lentil seeds were able to germinate in various proportions of biochar added. Biochar significantly reduced As concentrations from root, shoot and grain of lentil compared to the control treatment (without biochar). Grain As concentrations were very low (155 ppb in 10 t ha-1 biochar) indicating minimal toxicity and transfer risk and highest As concentration observed in control (396 ppb in 0 t ha-1 biochar). Grain yield was significantly higher (1574 kg ha-1 ) for lentil fertilized with 10 t ha-1 biochar compared with others, whereas control treatment had the lowest grain yield (1179 kg ha-1 in control where biochar is 0 t ha-1) . Application of biochar increased soil organic matter as well as improved soil nutrients content such as Ca, K, Mg and S. The highest organic matter was found in treated with 10 t ha-1 biochar and the lowest was observed in treated with control treatment. Application of biochar also increased soil nutrients content in the soil. Similar trend was found in case of Ca, K, Mg and S nutrients.


Nashir Uddin Mahmud is a doctoral student under the department of soil science at Patuakhali Science and Technology University, Patuakhali, Bangladesh. He studies “Arsenic mitigation for sustainable soil health and crop production using Biochar and peat in Bangladesh”. This research focuses on the arsenic contamination in lentil productivity in arsenic contaminated soil in Bangladesh. Last 12 years he also works as a soil scientist under the soil science Division of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Bangladesh. His main research interests involve soil organic matter management, contaminated soil management, developing fertilizer recommendation for different cropping patterns in Bangladesh, soil fertility management, integrated nutrient management system, food security and sustainable crop production. Mahmud obtained his  MSc Ag (Soil Science) from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Bangladesh.

Trialing recycled organics materials (compost) to improve soils in the beef industry – North Coast NSW

Mr Kelvin Langfield1

1North Coast Local Land Services, Lismore, Australia

The North Coast region has a subtropical climate and a diversity of soil types. The beef industry is a major contributor to the region’s economy and the single largest land use. There a number of circumstances where soils are likely to respond positively to the application of organic material and may potentially improve soil heath and structure by increasing soil organic matter.

This project combines market based analysis of the regional beef industry alongside trialing the application of source separated recycled organics material – compost. This will combine knowledge of the barriers and opportunities to the market for recycled organics with practical demonstrations of benefits of its use. This information will be targeted to expand the engagement of beef farmers to use recycled organics material as an option to improve soil health.

Beef cattle properties with a variety of scale, soil types and pasture species have been selected for the trial.  Each property will have a large scale twelve hectare site, with replicated plots comprising of various compost and fertiliser rates.  These sites will be part of the operating farm for the duration of the trial and will be managed inline with the current grazing regimes implemented by the land manager.

There is an opportunity for testing and promoting the use of compost in the beef grazing sector, particularly if the emphasis is on complementing existing soil improvement methods. There are a range of practical reasons to promote organic amendments in the beef grazing sector, e.g. to reduce reliance and costs of using ammonium based nitrogen fertilisers for pasture improvement.

The concept of improving soil health for the beef industry is to combine a number of different activities that complement each other to deliver comprehensive practical real world applications, is engaging for the farming community and informed by evidence.


I have 15 years’ experience in the Natural Resource Management and Agricultural Productivity sector with a range of skills, knowledge and qualifications obtained throughout my career.  Assisting in the development of partnerships within the broader community and across relevant stakeholder groups, to maximise the efficiency of project development and assist in identifying synergies and efficiencies that can be achieved through integrated project delivery, particularly in the areas of soil management, erosion and conservation/regenerative agriculture.

Working in partnership with community organisations involved in a variety of Agricultural and NRM issues to help them build capacity though the development of extension materials and practical on-farm demonstrations.  This has increased community understanding of the factors required to improve soil health and the flow on benefits better soil management has on environmental issues, and the relationships to productivity and profitability

I have a genuine comprehension of the issues affecting rural and regional communities including climate variation and natural disasters and the range of support mechanisms available to assist communities to build capacity and manage for adverse events. Sound knowledge and experience in the sustainability of the environment and farming communities, having lived the majority of my life in rural and regional centres where agriculture is a primary industry and having a personal connection to the land.



7th International Symposium
Soil Organic Matter

6 – 11 October 2019

Hilton Adelaide

Adelaide, South Australia


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