Department of Palynology and Climate Dynamics

PhD project:

Coastal wetlands of Indonesia

This PhD project is part of CRC990-EFForTS and SPICE III projects. Within this project, we aim to reconstruct the dynamics in vegetation and environment of tropical coastal wetlands in Southern Java and Eastern Sumatra during the Holocene, using multi-proxies analyses including pollen, spores, charcoal, biogeochemical, XRF-scanning and sediment dating (14C and 210Pb). Through this study, we aim to identify the main drivers in environmental change, provide insight on the role of human in the dynamics of the wetlands, as well as to reveal the potential role of the study sites in the global carbon cycle. We are hoping to derive some implications which may be useful as a guide to wetland conservation or management design to encounter the pressure from the rapidly growing economy and population as well as global environmental changes such as warming climate and sea level rise. Two wetlands in Cilacap, Java (mangrove fringed lagoon) and Jambi, Sumatra (peatlands), have been selected for our study. Both wetlands are appraised to be suitable to represent the coastal wetland ecosystems which are vulnerable to sea level rise and highly stressed by land use change and conversion for plantations, mining companies, aquacultures, etc. in two most populated islands in Indonesia: Java and Sumatra.

Keywords: palaeoecology, coastal wetlands, peatland, mangrove, vegetation dynamics, carbon accumulation, sea level rise, resilience, conservation, Indonesia

Project funded by: CRC990-EFForTS, SPICE III, Erasmus Mundus, DAAD 2014-ongoing