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Cattle grazing benefits farmland bird community composition in oil palm plantations

Cattle grazing benefits farmland bird community composition in oil palm plantations
Cattle grazing benefits farmland bird community composition in oil palm plantations

Oil palm expansion has caused considerable biodiversity loss as rainforest has been converted to plantation. However, it is still possible to mitigate such biodiversity losses and increase agricultural sustainability by introducing sustainable oil palm farming practices. One such method is the use of biological control agents for understory weed management in place of herbicides. Integrating cattle into oil palm plantation management to control undergrowth is expected to improve biodiversity (including avian diversity) in oil palm plantations. This study investigated the association between cattle grazing and farmland bird species composition in oil palm plantations. We used point transect sampling to survey farmland birds in 45 oil palm plantations which were divided into systematically and non-systematically cattle grazed plantations and control plantations (without cattle grazing). We found that both oil palm plantations with systematic (P=0.001) and non-systematic (P=0.005) cattle grazing had greater avian diversity than plantations without cattle grazing. Based on feeding guild, avian insectivores made up the majority of farmland birds observed. Bird species composition was determined by four attributes in our model: number of cattle, selective weeding frequency, age of oil palm stand, and palm height. We conclude that systematic grazing can improve avian diversity in oil palm plantations. We stress, that cattle integration into oil palm agriculture can provide an excellent means of maximising agricultural land use efficiency as well as increasing biodiversity in agricultural landscapes by increasing habitat complexity.

Sustainable agriculture
1347-0558
81-94
Tohiran, Kamil A.
782cdee8-f973-4a48-b53d-dada7135dd1e
Nobilly, Frisco
f10c5cf9-dbc7-41a2-a156-9624660b3a62
Maxwell, Thomas
90fd48e7-cdb6-425c-b33d-d760ee996edf
Puan, Chong Leong
fb0fe92f-8ce1-4a79-a4d6-8cb19de3ed7b
Zakaria, Mohamed
126c188a-988d-4548-bdad-236bd1ab888e
Zulkifli, Raja
dfe2be42-09c5-4210-9a32-0149014c800f
Ashton-Butt, Adham
327a148f-4a26-45f2-9611-6b4378134e04
Azhar, Badrul
1b729d4a-a1a3-4a11-beab-9cf3a9cbaf4c
Tohiran, Kamil A.
782cdee8-f973-4a48-b53d-dada7135dd1e
Nobilly, Frisco
f10c5cf9-dbc7-41a2-a156-9624660b3a62
Maxwell, Thomas
90fd48e7-cdb6-425c-b33d-d760ee996edf
Puan, Chong Leong
fb0fe92f-8ce1-4a79-a4d6-8cb19de3ed7b
Zakaria, Mohamed
126c188a-988d-4548-bdad-236bd1ab888e
Zulkifli, Raja
dfe2be42-09c5-4210-9a32-0149014c800f
Ashton-Butt, Adham
327a148f-4a26-45f2-9611-6b4378134e04
Azhar, Badrul
1b729d4a-a1a3-4a11-beab-9cf3a9cbaf4c

Tohiran, Kamil A., Nobilly, Frisco, Maxwell, Thomas, Puan, Chong Leong, Zakaria, Mohamed, Zulkifli, Raja, Ashton-Butt, Adham and Azhar, Badrul (2019) Cattle grazing benefits farmland bird community composition in oil palm plantations. Ornithological Science, 18 (1), 81-94. (doi:10.2326/osj.18.81).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Oil palm expansion has caused considerable biodiversity loss as rainforest has been converted to plantation. However, it is still possible to mitigate such biodiversity losses and increase agricultural sustainability by introducing sustainable oil palm farming practices. One such method is the use of biological control agents for understory weed management in place of herbicides. Integrating cattle into oil palm plantation management to control undergrowth is expected to improve biodiversity (including avian diversity) in oil palm plantations. This study investigated the association between cattle grazing and farmland bird species composition in oil palm plantations. We used point transect sampling to survey farmland birds in 45 oil palm plantations which were divided into systematically and non-systematically cattle grazed plantations and control plantations (without cattle grazing). We found that both oil palm plantations with systematic (P=0.001) and non-systematic (P=0.005) cattle grazing had greater avian diversity than plantations without cattle grazing. Based on feeding guild, avian insectivores made up the majority of farmland birds observed. Bird species composition was determined by four attributes in our model: number of cattle, selective weeding frequency, age of oil palm stand, and palm height. We conclude that systematic grazing can improve avian diversity in oil palm plantations. We stress, that cattle integration into oil palm agriculture can provide an excellent means of maximising agricultural land use efficiency as well as increasing biodiversity in agricultural landscapes by increasing habitat complexity.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 September 2018
Published date: 1 January 2019
Keywords: Sustainable agriculture

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429889
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429889
ISSN: 1347-0558
PURE UUID: e0593073-9605-4830-9ad6-2ec018a45974

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Date deposited: 08 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 00:59

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Contributors

Author: Kamil A. Tohiran
Author: Frisco Nobilly
Author: Thomas Maxwell
Author: Chong Leong Puan
Author: Mohamed Zakaria
Author: Raja Zulkifli
Author: Adham Ashton-Butt
Author: Badrul Azhar

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