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  • 1
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    Göttingen: Collaborative Research Centre 990 "EFForTS, Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia)"
    Publication Date: 2015-09-08
    Description: Oil palm plantations have expanded rapidly in the last decades. This large-scale land-use change has had great impacts on both the areas converted to oil palm and their surroundings. Howev-er, research on the impacts of oil palm agriculture is scattered and patchy, and no clear overview ex-ists. Here, we address this gap through a systematic and comprehensive literature review of all ecosys-tem functions in oil palm plantations. We compare ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations to those in forests as forests are often cleared for the establishment of oil palm. We find that oil palm planta-tions generally have reduced ecosystem functioning compared to forests. Some of these functions are lost globally, such as those to gas and climate regulation and to habitat and nursery functions. The most serious impacts occur when land is cleared to establish new plantations, and immediately after-wards, especially on peat soils. To variable degrees, plantation management can prevent or reduce losses of some ecosystem functions. The only ecosystem function which increased in oil palm planta-tions is, unsurprisingly, the production of marketable goods. Our review highlights numerous research gaps. In particular, there are significant gaps with respect to information functions (socio-cultural functions). There is a need for empirical data on the importance of spatial and temporal scales, such as the differences between plantations in different environments, of different sizes, and of different ages. Finally, more research is needed on developing management practices that can off-set the losses of ecosystem functions.
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; ecosystem functions ; ecosystem services ; biodiversity ; oil palm ; land-use change ; Elaeis guineensis ; review
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-05-07
    Description: Oil palm plantations have expanded rapidly in recent decades. This large-scale land-use change has had great ecological, economic, and social impacts on both the areas converted to oil palm and their surroundings. However, research on the impacts of oil palm cultivation is scattered and patchy, and no clear overview exists. We address this gap through a systematic and comprehensive literature review of all ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations, including several (genetic, medicinal and ornamental resources, information functions) not included in previous systematic reviews. We compare ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations to those in forests, as the conversion of forest to oil palm is prevalent in the tropics. We find that oil palm plantations generally have reduced ecosystem functioning compared to forests: 11 out of 14 ecosystem functions show a net decrease in level of function. Some functions show decreases with potentially irreversible global impacts (e.g. reductions in gas and climate regulation, habitat and nursery functions, genetic resources, medicinal resources, and information functions). The most serious impacts occur when forest is cleared to establish new plantations, and immediately afterwards, especially on peat soils. To variable degrees, specific plantation management measures can prevent or reduce losses of some ecosystem functions (e.g. avoid illegal land clearing via fire, avoid draining of peat, use of integrated pest management, use of cover crops, mulch, and compost) and we highlight synergistic mitigation measures that can improve multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously. The only ecosystem function which increases in oil palm plantations is, unsurprisingly, the production of marketable goods. Our review highlights numerous research gaps. In particular, there are significant gaps with respect to socio-cultural information functions. Further, there is a need for more empirical data on the importance of spatial and temporal scales, such as differences among plantations in different environments, of different sizes, and of different ages, as our review has identified examples where ecosystem functions vary spatially and temporally. Finally, more research is needed on developing management practices that can offset the losses of ecosystem functions. Our findings should stimulate research to address the identified gaps, and provide a foundation for more systematic research and discussion on ways to minimize the negative impacts and maximize the positive impacts of oil palm cultivation.
    Keywords: ecosystem functions; oil palm plantations
    Language: English
    Type: article , publishedVersion
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  • 3
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    Göttingen: Collaborative Research Centre 990 - EFForTS, Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia)
    Publication Date: 2019-06-03
    Description: Spatially-explicit simulation models are commonly used to study complex ecological and socio-economic research questions. Often these models depend on detailed input data, such as initial land-cover maps to set up model simulations. Here we present the landscape generator EFFortS-LGraf that provides artificially-generated land-use maps of agricultural landscapes shaped by small-scale farms. EFForTS-LGraf is a process-based landscape generator that explicitly incorporates the human dimension of land-use change. The model generates roads and villages that consist of smallholder farming households. These smallholders use different establishment strategies to create fields in their close vicinity. Crop types are distributed to these fields based on crop fractions and specialization levels. EFForTS-LGraf model parameters such as household area or field size frequency distributions can be derived from household surveys or geospatial data. This can be an advantage over the abstract parameters of neutral landscape generators. We tested the model using oil palm and rubber farming in Indonesia as a case study and validated the artificially-generated maps against classified satellite images. Our results show that EFForTS-LGraf is able to generate realistic land-cover maps with properties that lie within the boundaries of landscapes from classified satellite images. An applied simulation experiment on landscape-level effects of increasing household area and crop specialization revealed that larger households with higher specialization levels led to spatially more homogeneous and less scattered crop type distributions and reduced edge area proportion. Thus, EFForTS-LGraf can be applied both to generate maps as inputs for simulation modelling and as a stand-alone tool for specific landscape-scale analyses in the context of ecological-economic studies of smallholder farming systems.
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; landscape generator ; agent-based model ; ABM ; NetLogo ; process-based ; Indonesia
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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