Sarawak researchers attend world congress of soil science


KUCHING: Sarawak Tropical Peat Research Institute (TROPI) participated in the World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland which took place from July 31 to Aug 5.

The team from TROPI consisted of seven members and was led by its director Dr Lulie Melling.

The other members were Dr Ken Wong, Nur Azima Busman, Frazer Midot, Nicodemus Ujih, Yazid Imran and Amelia Jackob.

They are researchers from TROPI with various backgrounds of expertise in chemistry, environmental science, molecular and microbiology and data management.

Lulie was invited by WCSS to participate in a plenary discussion entitled, “Rock dust – a reverse weathering mechanism for tropical soils: physical and economic aspects’ by Prof Suzi Huff Theodoro (University of Brazil).

Apart from that, she was also invited to do a presentation during the IUSS Research Forum Meeting entitled ‘Challenges in Tropical Peat Soil Management’.

“TROPI also proudly represented Malaysia in one oral presentation by Nur Azima Busman, who is currently undergoing her PhD studies at Nagoya University, Japan.

“Her presentation, entitled ‘Long-term monitoring of carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from different types of tropical peat swamp forest’, highlighted the need to consider forest type in estimating carbon dynamics in tropical peatland,” Lulie said.

She added that the international research community recognised the work of TROPI in tropical peatland.

Meanwhile, for poster presentations, Lulie and Wong presented ‘Mechanical Soil Compaction: An Important Agro-environmental Management Practice on Tropical Peatland’ which investigates the effect of compaction on soil bulk density and soil moisture.

While Frazer presented ‘Deep sequencing of metagenomes from tropical peat to understand and catalogue microbial land use or, in short, ‘who are they and what they do’.

Nicodemus and Amelia presented ‘Understanding the effect of liming on the peat soil pH and micronutrient content in peat soil and plants (oil palm)’.

Besides that, Yazid Imran presented ‘Understanding the dynamics of fluctuation of peat swamp forest across different forest types, especially in relation to its water table’.

At the forum, Lulie proposed to IUSS to establish a peat soil working group to seek global attention on the importance of peat research, especially because of the importance of peat as one of the most important terrestrial carbon sources and being part of the UNFCCC Paris Agreement for developing Carbon Credit for Carbon Trading.

She also said that TROPI had attended WCSS since 2014 in Jeju Korea and in 2018 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“TROPI has consistently been having presentations in this forum, but Glasgow had the highest number of presentations with a few invitations for both plenary and research forum meetings,” she said.

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