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Systematic review of effects on biodiversity from oil palm production

Systematic review of effects on biodiversity from oil palm production
Systematic review of effects on biodiversity from oil palm production
Background: during the past decade there has been a growing interest in bioenergy, driven by concerns about global climate change, growing energy demand, and depleting fossil fuel reserves. The predicted rise in biofuel demand makes it important to understand the potential consequences of expanding biofuel cultivation.

A systematic review was conducted on the biodiversity impacts of three first-generation biofuel crops (oil palm, soybean, and jatropha) in the tropics. The study focused on the impacts on species richness, abundance (total number of individuals or occurrences), community composition, and ecosystem functions related to species richness and community composition.

Methods: literature was searched using an a priori protocol. Owing to a lack of available studies of biodiversity impacts from soybean and jatropha that met the inclusion criteria set out in the systematic review protocol, all analyses focused on oil palm. The impacts of oil palm cultivation on species richness, abundance, and community similarity were summarized quantitatively; other results were summarized narratively.

Results: the searches returned 9143 articles after duplicate removal of which 25 met the published inclusion criteria and were therefore accepted for the final review. Twenty of them had been conducted in Malaysia and two thirds were on arthropods.

Overall, oil palm plantations had reduced species richness compared with primary and secondary forests, and the composition of species assemblages changed significantly after forest conversion to oil palm plantation. Abundance showed species-specific responses and hence, the overall abundance was not significantly different between plantations and forest areas. Only one study reported how different production systems (smallholdings vs. industrial estates) affect biodiversity. No studies that examined the effects on ecosystem functions of reduced species richness or changes in community composition met the inclusion criteria. Neither were there studies that reported how areas managed under different standards (e.g. different certification systems) affect biodiversity and ecosystem function.

Conclusions: our review suggests that oil palm plantations have reduced species richness compared with primary and secondary forests, and the composition of species assemblage changes significantly after forest conversion to oil palm plantation. Effects of different production systems on biodiversity and ecosystem function are clear knowledge gaps that should be addressed in future research
2047-2382
Savilaakso, Sini
a9e46099-ba0f-4054-b0b6-4c8417ac86e2
Garcia, Claude
ddad683f-5641-4f90-beb0-488c06fa873e
Garcia-Ulloa, John
16a54839-12c1-42ad-adb1-79565daccc47
Ghazoul, Jaboury
ddb10d00-d5e1-4666-a40b-fe35565298b3
Groom, Martha
4a5b6401-f192-419e-8528-0724d7cc12f0
Guariguata, Manuel R.
294c9ee1-e556-4c58-89f3-46c1ddf5bd22
Laumonier, Yves
175f4dd9-2fba-42cf-909b-53dc1c6b0dbe
Nasi, Robert
5381c91f-3904-40af-ac40-c16946b28839
Petrokofsky, Gillian
29b20ff9-3389-4cdb-b258-f37aab2266e3
Snaddon, Jake
31a601f7-c9b0-45e2-b59b-fda9a0c5a54b
Zrust, Michal
4f98913e-5052-4f85-bc42-122cd2729954
Savilaakso, Sini
a9e46099-ba0f-4054-b0b6-4c8417ac86e2
Garcia, Claude
ddad683f-5641-4f90-beb0-488c06fa873e
Garcia-Ulloa, John
16a54839-12c1-42ad-adb1-79565daccc47
Ghazoul, Jaboury
ddb10d00-d5e1-4666-a40b-fe35565298b3
Groom, Martha
4a5b6401-f192-419e-8528-0724d7cc12f0
Guariguata, Manuel R.
294c9ee1-e556-4c58-89f3-46c1ddf5bd22
Laumonier, Yves
175f4dd9-2fba-42cf-909b-53dc1c6b0dbe
Nasi, Robert
5381c91f-3904-40af-ac40-c16946b28839
Petrokofsky, Gillian
29b20ff9-3389-4cdb-b258-f37aab2266e3
Snaddon, Jake
31a601f7-c9b0-45e2-b59b-fda9a0c5a54b
Zrust, Michal
4f98913e-5052-4f85-bc42-122cd2729954

Savilaakso, Sini, Garcia, Claude and Garcia-Ulloa, John et al. (2014) Systematic review of effects on biodiversity from oil palm production Environmental Evidence, 3, (4)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: during the past decade there has been a growing interest in bioenergy, driven by concerns about global climate change, growing energy demand, and depleting fossil fuel reserves. The predicted rise in biofuel demand makes it important to understand the potential consequences of expanding biofuel cultivation.

A systematic review was conducted on the biodiversity impacts of three first-generation biofuel crops (oil palm, soybean, and jatropha) in the tropics. The study focused on the impacts on species richness, abundance (total number of individuals or occurrences), community composition, and ecosystem functions related to species richness and community composition.

Methods: literature was searched using an a priori protocol. Owing to a lack of available studies of biodiversity impacts from soybean and jatropha that met the inclusion criteria set out in the systematic review protocol, all analyses focused on oil palm. The impacts of oil palm cultivation on species richness, abundance, and community similarity were summarized quantitatively; other results were summarized narratively.

Results: the searches returned 9143 articles after duplicate removal of which 25 met the published inclusion criteria and were therefore accepted for the final review. Twenty of them had been conducted in Malaysia and two thirds were on arthropods.

Overall, oil palm plantations had reduced species richness compared with primary and secondary forests, and the composition of species assemblages changed significantly after forest conversion to oil palm plantation. Abundance showed species-specific responses and hence, the overall abundance was not significantly different between plantations and forest areas. Only one study reported how different production systems (smallholdings vs. industrial estates) affect biodiversity. No studies that examined the effects on ecosystem functions of reduced species richness or changes in community composition met the inclusion criteria. Neither were there studies that reported how areas managed under different standards (e.g. different certification systems) affect biodiversity and ecosystem function.

Conclusions: our review suggests that oil palm plantations have reduced species richness compared with primary and secondary forests, and the composition of species assemblage changes significantly after forest conversion to oil palm plantation. Effects of different production systems on biodiversity and ecosystem function are clear knowledge gaps that should be addressed in future research

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e-pub ahead of print date: 2014
Organisations: Environmental

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 364747
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/364747
ISSN: 2047-2382
PURE UUID: 3f1deb5d-01d6-4dc3-b79b-a30704cee60e
ORCID for Jake Snaddon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3549-5472

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Date deposited: 12 May 2014 10:48
Last modified: 08 Nov 2017 01:09

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Contributors

Author: Sini Savilaakso
Author: Claude Garcia
Author: John Garcia-Ulloa
Author: Jaboury Ghazoul
Author: Martha Groom
Author: Manuel R. Guariguata
Author: Yves Laumonier
Author: Robert Nasi
Author: Gillian Petrokofsky
Author: Jake Snaddon ORCID iD
Author: Michal Zrust

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