Ian Lawson convened a session on “Peatlands in the tropics and beyond”, along with Claudio Zanelli, Sue Page, Hinsby Cuadrillo-Quiroz, and Jorg Kaduk, at EGU in Vienna. The session took place, appropriately, in the basement, in a packed room. Talks spanned a range of topics, including conservation, biochemistry and palaeoecology, from sites across the tropics (and one site in the Mediterranean as well). The talks were followed in the evening by a very well-attended poster session, including a poster by Ian and Katy Roucoux.
Katy Roucoux co-organized a session on “Palaeoecology of tropical ecosystems” at Annual Meeting of the Society for tropical Ecology (GTö) in Brussels, on 6th–10th February 2017. She also presented a talk on “The contribution of palaeoecology to tropical peatland science.”
Ian Lawson and colleagues from the UK Tropical Peat Working Group are organizing a session on “Tropical Peatlands” at EGU in April 2017. The call for abstracts is open with a deadline of 11 January 2017. All submissions welcome! The details of the session are here – the hope is to stimulate comparisons of peatlands across the tropics, building particularly on recent results from the Americas and Africa, but also benefiting from progress in SE Asia.
The UK Tropical Peatlands Working Group met in at the University of Leicester to discuss research progress, the group website, funding opportunities and we also started a conversation in this group on the topic of responsible use of peatlands. We agreed to submit a session proposal to EGU for next year and heard about the PeatDataHub initiative.
Katy Roucoux, Tom Kelly and Freddie Draper presented their research on peatlands in the Pastaza-Marañón Foreland Basin of Peru at the European Conference of Tropical Ecology. A fuller report can be found here.
PAGES C-PEAT is a new working group on the long-term history of peatlands around the globe. Drawing mainly on geological (including Holocene) perspectives, the group aims to synthesize our understanding of past change in peatland ecosystems and use that to help predict their future. Ian Lawson presented a summary of the group’s work on Pastaza-Marañón Basin peatlands at C-PEAT’s inaugural meeting at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New Jersey. This was one of a number of papers emphasizing the vulnerability of tropical peatlands to land-use change. Mapping future threats to peatlands – and opportunities for conservation – emerged as the basis of a new theme for the working group, which will be co-led by Ian.
Ian Lawson presented a summary of the group’s work in Peru at the Congress of the International Union for Quaternary Science in Nagoya, Japan.
The theme of this conference was “Resilience of tropical ecosystems – future challenges and opportunities” – very much in line with our research aims. Katy Roucoux gave a presentation on the palaeoecology of forest hollows, and presented (on Freddie’s behalf) a poster by Draper et al. summarizing our recent paper in ERL.
Ian Lawson chaired the meeting, which welcomed several new members. Katy and Ian both gave presentations of their recent work.
Greta Dargie, Freddie Draper, Tom Kelly and Ian Lawson attended this meeting, which focused on the use of remote sensing techniques to map tropical peatland extent and other characteristics.