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Biodiversity: oil-palm replanting raises ecology issues

Biodiversity: oil-palm replanting raises ecology issues
Biodiversity: oil-palm replanting raises ecology issues
More than one-third of the area on which oil palm is grown in Malaysia, some 1.4 million hectares (http://faostat.fao.org), has already passed peak yields and is due to be replanted. Replanting, which represents a new phase for the industry, must be carefully thought through and implemented to avoid repeating the disastrous effects of the initial clearance of primary forest on biodiversity and the environment.

The productive life of an oil-palm crop is 25–30 years and, because the boom in oil-palm cultivation began in the mid-1980s, large areas of ageing oil palm in southeast Asia now need replacing. However, the long-term nature of the crop has allowed biological complexity to build up around it over time.

There is therefore a risk that the replanting phase — just like the initial clearance for planting — will disrupt natural habitats by indiscriminate removal of vegetation and heavy disturbance of soil and hydrological systems.

We suggest that large-scale replanting operations should be carried out carefully with a view to minimizing such adverse effects on the environment.
conservation, human behaviour, developing world
0028-0836
170-171
Snaddon, Jake L.
31a601f7-c9b0-45e2-b59b-fda9a0c5a54b
Willis, Katherine J.
7ab089d1-4fd6-40aa-90d8-b55bf5ab0edb
Macdonald, David W.
4169039f-d58e-443a-a62e-5822b707912a
Snaddon, Jake L.
31a601f7-c9b0-45e2-b59b-fda9a0c5a54b
Willis, Katherine J.
7ab089d1-4fd6-40aa-90d8-b55bf5ab0edb
Macdonald, David W.
4169039f-d58e-443a-a62e-5822b707912a

Snaddon, Jake L., Willis, Katherine J. and Macdonald, David W. (2013) Biodiversity: oil-palm replanting raises ecology issues. Nature, 502, 170-171. (doi:10.1038/502170d). (PMID:24108039)

Record type: Article

Abstract

More than one-third of the area on which oil palm is grown in Malaysia, some 1.4 million hectares (http://faostat.fao.org), has already passed peak yields and is due to be replanted. Replanting, which represents a new phase for the industry, must be carefully thought through and implemented to avoid repeating the disastrous effects of the initial clearance of primary forest on biodiversity and the environment.

The productive life of an oil-palm crop is 25–30 years and, because the boom in oil-palm cultivation began in the mid-1980s, large areas of ageing oil palm in southeast Asia now need replacing. However, the long-term nature of the crop has allowed biological complexity to build up around it over time.

There is therefore a risk that the replanting phase — just like the initial clearance for planting — will disrupt natural habitats by indiscriminate removal of vegetation and heavy disturbance of soil and hydrological systems.

We suggest that large-scale replanting operations should be carried out carefully with a view to minimizing such adverse effects on the environment.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 9 October 2013
Published date: 10 October 2013
Keywords: conservation, human behaviour, developing world
Organisations: Centre for Biological Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 359122
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/359122
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 6c0a322a-2889-47cf-bfad-7d354c6688f0
ORCID for Jake L. Snaddon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3549-5472

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Oct 2013 12:16
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:23

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Author: Jake L. Snaddon ORCID iD
Author: Katherine J. Willis
Author: David W. Macdonald

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