Chameleon soil moisture sensors: a potential new tool for monitoring tropical peatland restoration success and peat fire risk

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Aldina Rahmadhani , Nafila Idrus , Andri Thomas , Ramadhan , Laura Graham, Matt Driver , Richard Stirzaker, Samantha Grover

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Peat restoration is a top priority in Indonesia because of the peat fires that impact the health and economy of local and regional communities. The Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency (BRG) was mandated to restore 2 million hectares of degraded peatland by 2020. To improve successful and cost-effective restoration approaches and adapt and refine existing techniques, peatland restoration needs to be meaningfully monitored and assessed. The Flux and Chameleon Project uses a series of Chameleon soil moisture sensors to directly measure peat water dynamics continuously. This technique empowers researchers, the government and Indonesian society to monitor and assess the success of peat restoration, specifically the extent of peat re-wetting, and, when dry, the risk of peat fires. The Chameleon measures soil moisture at 3 depths (in this study10, 25 and 40 cm) and the soil temperature at one depth (in this study 10 cm). The Chameleon installation has been running for 13 months to December 2019 and early results have shown that the method is viable in this ecosystem, and has received strong positive responses from local government and community stakeholders. The use of this technique to measure water moisture within the degraded tropical peatlands can play a direct role in improving fire management and prevention, monitoring the success of re-wetting efforts of the peat, and support Indonesia in mitigating climate change. All data is presented in the form of color tables which provides information of all depths and can be accessed via

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program