University of Leicester
2013grahamllbphd.pdf (4.02 MB)

Restoration from Within: An Interdisciplinary Methodology for Tropical Peat Swamp Forest Restoration in Indonesia

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posted on 2013-09-13, 14:56 authored by Laura Linda Bozena Graham
Between 1985 and 2006 about 47% of tropical peat swamp forest (TPSF), mainly found in SE Asia, became degraded through logging, drainage, fire and agriculture. In response to global agendas, several large-scale TPSF restoration projects have been initiated, although knowledge is limited and successful, transferable methods are yet to be established. Restoration ecology is an inter-disciplinary science encompassing ecology, sociology, economics and politics, but methodology to integrate these disciplines is lacking. This study explored the social and ecological factors affecting the regeneration of a degraded TPSF in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. An ecological investigation revealed that seed rain, animal-dispersal, flooding, increased light levels and lowered soil nutrient and mycorrhizae levels had become forest regeneration barriers, whilst seed banks, drought and competition with invasive species had not. In the adjacent village, focus groups and interviews revealed other factors influencing forest regeneration; the community’s lack of livelihood options, their dependency on the forest, the lack of funding for restoration and their dislike of ‘outsiders’. Not all factors were negative however; the community’s ecological knowledge, and their attitude towards restoration were positive. Social and ecological data were equally important in understanding the factors influencing the landscape. Furthermore, the data were closely linked and were often combined to better explain each factor. This study therefore proposes a new methodology for integrating these two disciplines within restoration ecology: the factors influencing the landscape are investigated through a process (using social and ecological methods) described as ‘anticipation and engagement’. Social and ecological data are then combined to explain the factors using the categorizations: ‘negative’, ‘potential negative’, ‘in-active’, ‘positive’, and ‘compound’. This methodology then facilitates development of a site-specific restoration action plan. The broader implications of this methodology, the interlinking of social and ecological data, the transferability of methods, and the restoration of Indonesian TPSF are discussed.



Page, Susan; Pickerill, Jenny

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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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