Oil-palm plantations in the context of biodiversity conservation

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Meijaard, E & Sheil, D 2013, 'Oil-palm plantations in the context of biodiversity conservation', in SA Levin (ed), Encyclopedia of biodiversity, 2nd edn, Elsevier Academic Press, Amsterdam, pp. 509-527. ISBN: 9780123847201

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A native from western Africa, oil palm is one of the most rapidly expanding and cheap tropical plant species. It produces more oil per unit area than any other vegetable oil crop. Widespread planting has been at the expense of other tropical vegetation, notably including species-rich tropical rain forests. Even though planted oil palm provides habitat to some species, species diversity in oil palm is much lower than in most tropical rain forest and even timber concessions and timber plantations. Although oil-palm plantations have a negative impact on local biodiversity, their ultimate global impact depends on considering the impacts of alternative oil crops with greater land requirements.