Peatland drainage

Peatland droughts are created by the vagaries of nature and mankind. Rapid climate change that results in long dry seasons tends to dry peatlands up. Furthermore, peatlands are often deliberately drained in order to convert more areas for agriculture and plantation industries.

Peatland drainage starts with felling natural peat vegetation and building water canals to drain the stored water to ensure that the peat is dry enough for planting industrial plants such as oil palm or acacia. This water canal is then also used to transport crops. 

Due to its porous texture, peat soil will shrink when drained, resulting in a subsidence of peatland. Peatland subsidence explains why plants on the peat surface fall easily, resulting in a reduction in vegetation cover on peatland which in turn lowers the humidity in the area.

When the peatland dries up, it becomes more prone to fires. The plants and shrubs on it, as well as the peat itself, are also more prone to fires.

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