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Biol. Rev. (2017), 92, pp. 1539–1569.

1539
doi: 10.1111/brv.12295

A review of the ecosystem functions in oil
palm plantations, using forests as a reference
system
Claudia Dislich1,2,† , Alexander C. Keyel1 , Jan Salecker1 , Yael Kisel1 , Katrin M. Meyer1 ,
Mark Auliya3 , Andrew D. Barnes4 , Marife D. Corre5 , Kevin Darras6 , Heiko Faust7 ,
Bastian Hess1 , Stephan Klasen8 , Alexander Knohl9 , Holger Kreft10 , Ana Meijide9 ,
Fuad Nurdiansyah1,6 , Fenna Otten7 , Guy Pe’er3,11 , Stefanie Steinebach12 ,
Suria Tarigan13 , Merja H. Tölle9,14 , Teja Tscharntke6 and Kerstin Wiegand1,∗
1 Department of Ecosystem Modelling, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, University of Göttingen, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2
Department of Ecological Modelling, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
3
Department of Conservation Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
4 Department of Systemic Conservation Biology, Faculty of Biology and Psychology, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
5
Department of Soil Science of Tropical and Subtropical Ecosystems, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, University of Göttingen,
37077 Göttingen, Germany
6 Department of Crop Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Göttingen, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
7
Department of Human Geography, Faculty of Geoscience and Geography, University of Göttingen, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
8
Department of Development Economics, Faculty of Economic Science, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
9 Department of Bioclimatology, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, University of Göttingen, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
10
Department of Biodiversity, Macroecology & Conservation Biogeography, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, University of Göttingen,
37077 Göttingen, Germany
11
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), 04103 Leipzig, Germany
12
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
13
Department of Soil Sciences and Land Resources Management, Bogor Agriculture University, Bogor, Indonesia
14
Institute for Geography, University of Giessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany

ABSTRACT

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

* Address for correspondence (Tel: +49 (0)551 39-10121; E-mail: mail@Kerstin-Wiegand.de)

Present address: Helmholtz Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Environmental Research, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental
Research - UFZ, 04318 Leipzig, Germany.

Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium,
provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

1540 C. Dislich and others

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.

Key words: ecosystem functions, ecosystem services, biodiversity, oil palm, land-use change, Elaeis guineensis.

CONTENTS

I. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1541
(1) Scope and overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1541
(2) Oil palm cultivation and oil production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1542
(3) Biodiversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1543
II. Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1544
III. Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1545
(1) Gas & climate regulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1545
(a) Greenhouse gas fluxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1547
(b) Air quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1548
(c) Local climate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1548
(d) Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1548
(e) Research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1550
(2) Water regulation & supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1550
(a) Water storage and supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1550
(b) Water quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1550
(c) Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1551
(d) Research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1551
(3) Moderation of extreme events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1551
(a) Landslides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1551
(b) Wildfires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1551
(c) Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1552
(d) Research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1552
(4) Erosion prevention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1552
(a) Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1552
(b) Research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1552
(5) Soil fertility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1553
(a) Nutrient losses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1553
(b) Nutrient inputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1553
(c) Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1553
(d) Research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1553
(6) Waste treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1554
(a) Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1554
(b) Research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1554
(7) Pollination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1554
(a) Native pollinators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1554
(b) Pollination by Elaeidobius weevils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1554
(c) Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1555
(d) Research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1555
(8) Biological control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1555
(a) Biological control within oil palm plantations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1555
(b) Biological control in surrounding areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1556
(c) Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1556
(d) Research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1556
(9) Refugium & nursery functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1556
(a) Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1556

Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society.

Ecosystem functions of oil palm versus forest 1541

(b) Research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1557
(10) Food & raw materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1557
(a) Foods and materials from oil palm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1557
(b) Loss of forest foods and materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1557
(c) Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1557
(d) Research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1557
(11) Genetic resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1558
(a) Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1558
(b) Research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1558
(12) Medicinal resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1558
(a) Medicinal benefits of oil palm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1558
(b) Mitigation and research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1558
(13) Ornamental resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1559
(a) Mitigation and research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1559
(14) Information functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1559
(a) Information functions associated with oil palm and palm oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1559
(b) Information functions lost with forest conversion to oil palm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1559
(c) Mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1560
(d) Research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1560
IV. Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1560
(1) Impacts of oil palm plantations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1560
(2) Options for mitigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1560
(3) Major research gaps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1560
(4) Considerations of scale: spatial, temporal, and management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1561
(5) Policy considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1561
V. Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1562
VI. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1562
VII. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1562
VIII. Supporting Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1569

I. INTRODUCTION workers who interact or conflict with indigenous communities
(Dove, 2005; van Klinken, 2008), has been investigated as
(1) Scope and overview well as how gender relationships are influenced by new
labour requirements (Li, 2014). The interaction of large-scale
Over the past few decades, oil palm plantations have oil palm cultivation and social transformation still requires
expanded dramatically, especially in Southeast Asia (e.g. further scientific investigation and is beyond the scope of our
Koh, 2011; see online Appendix S1). As the production review.
of palm oil is highly cost- and area-effective compared to Here we present an interdisciplinary, comprehensive
other oil crops (e.g. Zimmer, 2010), this trend is projected overview of the environmental consequences of oil palm
to continue in Southeast Asia and other tropical regions expansion. We first summarize the process of oil palm
(Fitzherbert et al., 2008). During the past few years, the cultivation (Section I.2), and its direct effects on biodiversity
scientific community has given increasing attention to oil (Section I.3). We then use ecosystem functions as a unifying
palm expansion and its consequences for ecosystems and framework to synthesize research results from natural
people. However, research on the environmental impacts of sciences, economics, and social sciences. Ecosystem functions
oil palm cultivation has been fragmented by discipline. While are defined as ‘the capacity of natural processes and
natural scientists have mostly focused on the contributions of components to provide goods and services that satisfy human
oil palm expansion to the loss of rainforest, biodiversity, and needs, directly or indirectly’, and consequently are a subset
soil carbon as well as greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. Fargione of ecological processes and ecosystem structures (de Groot,
et al., 2008; Barnes et al., 2014; van Straaten et al., 2015), Wilson & Boumans, 2002). While ecosystem functions are
economists have discussed costs and benefits associated with related to ecosystem services, an ecosystem function is the
development (Corley, 2009). Social scientists have drawn ecosystem’s capacity to provide a given service, regardless
attention to large-scale oil palm cultivation in relation to of whether the service is actually utilized (e.g. an ecosystem
land grabbing (Hall, 2011; Borras & Franco, 2012) and may be able to treat more organic waste than is present).
land-use conflicts between local communities and oil palm Ecosystem functions are grouped into four main categories:
companies (Afiff & Lowe, 2007; Potter, 2009; Colchester regulation, habitat, production, and information. Regulation
et al., 2011; Steinebach, 2013). The impact of agro-industrial functions maintain biogeochemical cycles, e.g. carbon
oil palm cultivation on local social structures, e.g. plantation sequestration, and water and nutrient cycling. Habitat

Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society.

The crude palm oil is refined and separated into plantations) scales at which changes in ecosystem functions solid and liquid fractions (Sheil et al. (Mg ha−1 ) oil crop in the world (Wahid. In the last decade. 2002). a waste product that consists of an acidic mix of (Corley & Tinker. 2015). 2009). First. and assistance.. 2012). Vermeulen & Goad. 2008).e.2–4). palm fruit bunches are harvested. Despite at the company’s nearby mill. mainly owned by private companies. as oil palms cannot grow on waterlogged peat plantations allocated 30% of their land for their core oil palm soils. After 2–3 years. the kernels are ground. Oil palm production peaks at 9–18 years functions are the cultural. Susanti & Zoomers. Finally.1 million ha in 43 countries). their own palm oil using their own or community-owned Mechanical clearing often requires heavy machinery in manual palm oil presses (Zoological Society London. it remains the common under the nucleus estate scheme of the 1990s (Fearnside. assess which ecosystem functions are (Vermeulen & Goad. supported smallholders commit to selling their ground litter and thus results in high environmental costs crops to a large-scale company at a set price to be processed (e. and may deal directly with The establishment of an oil palm plantation begins the local mill operators of their choice or even process with clearing the land. This results in even higher carbon losses than from plantation while 70% was available for use by participating plantation establishment alone (Fargione et al. Dislich and others functions support biological diversity. Budidarsono. 2008).6 million ha) most around 2 ha. For example. The fruits are then pressed. Next. left over from pressing contains fibres. cited by Azhar et al. including soils state-owned (Central Bureau of Statistics Indonesia. and chemicals (Wahid et al. which can lead to Supported smallholders are linked to large-scale plantations soil compaction (Lal. Independent smallholders are self-financed. 2010).. each ecosystem function (Sections III. family-based smallholder plantations (defined as <50 ha. heated. 2009) or as humid tropical lowlands (18. manage their own farms. water. Clearing through slashing and burning plantation preparation (Sheil et al. low costs. 2006). while most palm Elaeis guineensis Jacq. with Indonesia (7. The press cake occur (Section IV. and degradations. Koh & Wilcove. (i. 2013. Oil palm seedlings are then planted and makes only the remaining share of the land available to at densities of about 110–150 palms per hectare (Sheil smallholders (McCarthy. 2014). Schrier-Uijl et al. xx). for palm oil production. with a minority being 2015). Smallholder plantations make up about 40% of the land 2003). 2003). At this point. data to 2013. either mechanically or with fire. they need to be processed summarize mitigation actions that can be taken to maintain in a local mill within 48 h to prevent fruit deterioration ecosystem functions.. Large-scale together accounting for about 85% of global crude palm oil plantations usually include a processing mill..1542 C. is native to tropical Africa.. to 25–30 years until they become too tall for fruit harvest We reviewed these ecosystem functions systematically (Basiron. Empty fruit bunches and with its native range extending from Guinea to Angola POME. Rodríguez et al. and highlight important research gaps for from the fruits. 2008). the palms are (Section II) to assess the change in ecosystem function usually cut down and new seedlings are planted (see Fig. 2009). they are affected by few pests and diseases Smallholders either work independently or as supported and palm oil mills can be powered by waste biomass from smallholders. plastics. fertilizer). and educational values (USDA FAS. Oil palms grow on a range of soil types. FAO. the palms mature and fruits provide natural resources for human use. 2014. since the loans received deducted from the revenue. 2013) utilized in plantation is being established in peat lands.. Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. and kernels (the seeds of the palm fruit). 2002).. Easy establishment. 2005). and fat residues. the partnership model has roads/tracks are built. 2006). in arisen.. producing a press liquor that Where data are available. the species most broadly used kernel oil is used to produce detergents. Oil palms are now grown throughout the plantations (3000–20000 ha.1–14 and IV. information can be harvested. If a 1997. 2014. are the main organic and high output make oil palm a highly profitable tropical cash crop and economically the most efficient wastes produced.4. 2004. and are production (see online Appendix S1. where the core estate retains up to 80% of its land some cases. is separated into crude palm oil and palm oil mill effluent temporal. 2007. more details below). 1990s in Malaysia and Indonesia). but palms are left on the field for up of ecosystems (de Groot et al. where few other crops grow successfully (Corley & Tinker. crushed shells. 2010).. training. the large-scale is drainage. Sheil et al. 1996) among other soil physical and receive support on material inputs. understorey vegetation.. shells. the case of large-scale plantations.. p. terraces. Abdullah & Oil palm plantations usually occur either as large-scale Henson. Sheil et al. Zimmer. 2006).. along with drainage ditches and. 2005). smallholders. leaving empty fruit bunches as a by-product. 2007. produced (but still may require large absolute amounts of Central Bureau of Statistics Indonesia. Also. Production functions et al.g. After oil ecosystem replaced by oil palm. with a proportion of any laws prohibiting the clearing of land with fire.1 million ha) and Malaysia (4.. 1 for in oil palm plantations relative to forest (the dominant oil palm plantations at different stages of growth). cosmetics. DeFries et al. Most crude palm oil is used in food. (2) Oil palm cultivation and oil production and treated with a solvent to extract palm kernel oil (Poku. In return for this removes aboveground biomass. and management (smallholder versus large-scale (POME). 2009).. the stalks are separated understudied. 2009). plantations (Basiron. the next step the villages of Jambi province (Indonesia). practice (Murdiyarso et al. we also consider the spatial. The costs of palm oil production are low because oil under oil palm cultivation in Indonesia and 13% in Malaysia palms require relatively low fertilizer inputs per Mg of oil (Malaysian Palm Oil Board 2012. . aesthetic.

Conversion of forest to oil palm clearly Thunhikorn & Donald. Foster et al. 1.. 2007.. Suria Tarigan. 2012. dung beetles.. Azhar et al. 2015. and (D. Most studies on oil palm have investigated species Barnes et al. 2012. (3) Biodiversity richness in small sampling plots. genes. ecosystem functions. Aratrakorn. Photo credits: A.. Ana Meijide. Drescher et al..Ecosystem functions of oil palm versus forest 1543 Fig. Jambari et al... E) a mature oil palm plantation. Almost all organisms studied Biodiversity is a multifaceted concept that includes the so far have lower species richness in oil palm plantations diversity of life on different levels of organization from than in forests. and mammals (Gillison & Liswanti. 2016). 2008. 2012. Not only is species Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. 1999. Foster et al. 2006. 2010. C. Biodiversity as such litter invertebrates... amphibians. . Yamashita & Lee. Examples of oil palm plantations (Jambi. Barnett et al. 2011. Oliver van Straaten... Yule. 2014. Maddox et al.. Drescher et al. including wood-inhabiting fungi. to species. Fitzherbert et al. 2014. (C) a young plantation. Hattori. D. to entire ecosystems. 2009. E. Faruk et al. 2010. Fayle et al.. 2016). 2010. 2009. Danielsen et al. 2011. 2014. 2011. 2013. Indonesia) in different stages of establishment: (A. Gillespie et al. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society... B) initial establishment. B. Danielsen represents a major threat to biodiversity (see reviews by et al. is not an ecosystem function but is important to many birds. ants. plants. 2013.. lizards. Savilaakso et al.

and 6.. water regulation and water supply. Summary of the number of relevant studies found to be common. METHODS historic information. and aesthetic information. We focus on ecosystem functions that arise during the preparation of this review.g. This resulted in 14 instead of 23 ecosystem functions. Edwards et al.. and The following ecosystem functions from de Groot et al. 2010). We acknowledge that developed a list of search terms (see online Appendix S2). . (R) Gas & climate regulation 204 although more studies on functional diversity are needed 2.. such farms make up only a tiny fraction of the world’s oil plus additional relevant articles and reports that were found palm production. recreation. 2011). vegetation 13. while still 7. 8. access for Totalc 955 hunting. 2005). on a structured literature search. Yaap et al. and bats. respectively. 2016). Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. beetles. ants. (P) Genetic resources 47 12. although some taxa. Habitat. The results from each narrative were tropical forest and oil palm plantations (e..1544 C. but We then used the search terms in combination with ‘oil present the rationale for each decision in online Appendix S4. Our searches returned many off-topic articles. oil palms are often 2015. 2015). 2011). 2010) while forest in the literature search. (R) Erosion preventionb 60 are lower in oil palm plantations for many taxa. (2002). we between primary and secondary forests because differences cannot give an exhaustive overview of all studies. Meijaard et al. and beetles. H.g. food and raw materials. while & nursery functions were the most studied ecosystem functions. including 5. combined: gas regulation and climate regulation. palm’.. increased 14. (R) Water regulation & supply 89 3. who used the been treated elsewhere (e. 2). (R) Pollination 36 less diverse. (2008) found Production. some functions were hence the sum of the studies in the 14 functions exceeds the total updated based on de Groot et al. evidenced by their titles and abstracts. (P) Food & raw materials 140 biodiversity in oil palm plantations is due to loss of habitat (see 11. and some species 9. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. We do not distinguish number of publications for some ecosystem functions. In their native range. (R) Biological control 109 isopods. b Soil retention was updated to erosion prevention and nutrient We based our review on the list of 23 ecosystem functions regulation was updated to soil fertility for increased clarity (de from de Groot et al. Gas & climate regulation and Refugium palm plantations when averaging across all taxa. (R) Waste treatment 38 primates (Foster et al. 1. and science and education. 2013. nutrient regulation and soil formation. Brown & Jacobson. Abundances 4. (R) Soil fertilityb 103 ants. 2009. different experts could arrive at different conclusions. (2002) were tigers. Comte et al. Fig. (2010). mosquitoes. resulting in a working list of 14 ecosystem functions c Note that a study may be included in more than one category. Mumme et al. 2011. However. (2009) found that only 23% of vertebrates Appendix S3 for a complete list of references and 31% of invertebrates overlapped between forest and oil palm plantations (also cf . The categories Regulation. The remaining studies. (H) Refugium & nursery functions 217 of birds.. 2015). were organized as a within and immediately surrounding oil palm plantations JabRef literature database (see online Appendix S3. 2013. (P) Ornamental resources 14 structure and microclimate. the We use forests as a reference point because they are section authors used recent reviews as a starting point (e. See online Danielsen et al. as grown in mixed-species agroforestry systems (Poku. Dislich and others richness lower..g. Foster et al. These indirect impacts have assigned to two or more section authors. Due to the large palm plantations are established. or ‘elaeis guineensis’ to search Web of We focus our review on ecosystem functions in Knowledge for publications between 1970 and mid-February monocultures. 2005). cultural & artistic information. lizards. but did not conduct a formal meta-analysis. ‘palm oil’. Instead. (Table 1. (R) Moderation of extreme events 54 (but see Senior et al. altered habitat characteristics (e. and Information functions are indicated by R. 2014a). species tend to be absent. small mammals. We combined strongly related Groot et al. Fitzherbert et al. the species that are present are more likely Table 1. that only 15% of primary forest species also occur in oil P. Achten & literature database and their knowledge of the topic to write Verchot. For each of these functions we effect for each ecosystem function. We based our review number of studies. 2010). dung beetles. Senior et al. as too few studies reported suitable then synthesized based on expert opinion to arrive at a net effect sizes for comparison. and I. (P) Medicinal resources 80 Section III. while Ornamental resources was the least studied. Sheil et al. functions. 2012). Each ecosystem function was effects of the oil palm industry. moths. the potential natural vegetation in most areas where oil Foster et al.e... Functional Ecosystem functiona Studies diversity of dung beetles and birds has also been found to be reduced in oil palm plantations (Edwards et al. 2002). 2011.. JabRef rather than downstream effects of palm oil use or indirect Development Team.9). generalist species (Yule.. elephants.. To improve accuracy. Where available. birds.g. removed from further consideration. (I) Information functions 30 access to species of food or commercial interest (e. and direct removal of species a considered to be pests (including orangutans. and these were which we expect to differ in ecosystem functioning. the narrative portion of this review. between them in ecosystem functions are expected to be we report the findings that to our judgment are the most small compared to the differences between either type of important and novel.. The loss of 10.g. spiritual & II. may have higher abundances (i.. refugium function and nursery function. 2013). Drescher et al.

2. Sheil effect on 11 of the 14 ecosystem functions relative to native et al.. III. and this comparison therefore provides a useful rainforest (Table 2. However. see atmosphere. We exclude studies which exclusively compare oil ecosystem functions. Studies were not evenly distributed among well as biophysical processes which regulate climate through Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. Gas & climate palm to non-forest land-use types. for many ecosystem upper bound for possible changes in ecosystem function. oil palm had both positive and negative effects (Table 2). 2008). 2009). with an increase in publication rate with greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and air quality. Estimates of net effect direction and correlation are qualitative and are based on the summary presented herein. Oil palm plantations have a predominantly negative net effect on ecosystem functions when compared to primary and secondary rainforest.. Fig. Pollination and Ornamental resources. Net effects do not imply that all effects on a given ecosystem function are positive or negative. while others are relatively cultivated land rather than forest (Wicke et al. but that the majority or most-dominant effects are in the given direction. understudied (e. RESULTS (1) Gas & climate regulation Gas and climate regulation refers to biotic and In total. Koh & Wilcove. Overall. .g. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. It includes biogeochemical cycles associated online Appendix S3).g. large swathes of forest have been and are still Table 1). 2011). we found 955 studies and reports dealing with abiotic processes of terrestrial ecosystems influencing the ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations (Table 1. oil palm had a predominantly negative being cleared for oil palm (e. as over time.Ecosystem functions of oil palm versus forest 1545 Fig. See Table 2 for additional details. 2). functions. However.g. with some functions (e. 2008. We are aware that oil regulation and Refugium & nursery functions) receiving a palm plantations sometimes replace degraded or previously disproportionate share of attention.

g. 4) Water quality: low sediment loads −− − −e (2.. Dislich and others Table 2.1546 C. ? indicates absent or insufficient data. d Strongly dependent on location and soil type: very high infiltration under frond piles and on sandy soils (Banabas et al. f (12) Medicinal resources −− − −e. young plantations (e. which may change independently of one another. Plantations on peat soils have additional negative effects on ecosystem function not captured in this table. g Biological control function largely unclear. g (8) Biological control: surrounding area ?g ?g ?g (9) Species richness: plantation −− −− −− (9) Species richness: surrounding area −− − −e − −e (9) Species’ abundance: plantation −− − −/++e − −/++e (9) Species’ abundance: surrounding area ? ? ? (9) Dispersal functions − −f − −f −− (10) Food/raw materials: quantity −− ? ++ (10) Food/raw materials: diversity −− − −e − −e (11) Genetic resources −− − −e. E). c − corresponds to decreased soil uptake. 1A. f Prediction based on reasoning. 6) Water quality: low pollution − −e −e (2. 3) Flood prevention −/− − −/− −e −/− −e (2. . Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. + indicates decreased emissions (positive effect on ecosystem function). B). 1C). 1D.g. increase). thus highlighting important research gaps. f −e. +. Fig. spiritual and historic value −/+ −/+e −/+e (14) Recreational potential −− − −e − −e (14) Science and education −− −e. and mature plantations (e. but no direct data to support this. = indicates no detectable changes. decrease. existing research suggests an expected direction or outcome. f − −e. f − −/+e. because highly context-dependent and dependent on spread of pest species. 3) Drought prevention − −e −e (3) Landslide prevention − −f − −f −f (3) Wildfire prevention −− −e −e (4) Erosion prevention −− − − (5) Organic nutrient retention −− − −e −e (5) Nutrient inputs ? ++e ++e (6) Treatment of organic waste −f −f −f (6) Treatment of inorganic waste ? ? + (6) Decomposition rate ? =e =e (6) Noise abatement ? ? ? (7) Pollination: plantations − −f ? ? (7) Pollination: surrounding areas −f ? ? (8) Biological control: plantation ?g −/+e. f (14) Cultural and artistic. f − −e. 2) Actual evapotranspiration −− ? = (2) Infiltration rate − −d −d (2) Regularity of supply (baseflow) − − ? (2) Regulation of peak flows −− − ? (2. Numbers in parentheses correspond to main functions listed in Table 1. Fig. g −/+e. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. Fig. The change in ecosystem function relative to intact forest is given for deforested land (e. These instances are indicated with the expected direction and a footnote (6) to clarify that the direction is hypothesized. ++ or − − indicates qualitatively larger effects (based on expert opinion). e Plantation age not specified in the research study. f a Sub-functions refer to components of the main ecosystem functions. Changes in ecosystem functions with conversion of forest to oil palm plantations (−. f (13) Ornamental resources −− −e −e (14) Aesthetic appeal −− − −/+e. 2008). but not confirmed Ecosystem sub–functiona Deforested land Young plantation Mature plantation (1) Soil carbon storage −− − − (1) Biomass carbon storage −− −− − (1) N2 O balanceb −− −− −/+/= (1) CH4 balancec ? ? − (1) Air quality −− ? − (1) Volatile organic compound balanceb −− ? − (2) Water storage −− −− − (2) Water yields ++ + ? (1. b − indicates increased emissions (negative effect on ecosystem function).g. In some cases where no studies have been conducted.

Ecosystem functions of oil palm versus forest 1547 energy and momentum fluxes. dissolved organic matter is flushed out Drescher et al.E. This high productivity is often used as Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors.. 2008). 2016).D.. Denich & Vlek. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. peat drainage (if applicable). Hergoualc’h & Verchot. Melling et al. 2010. The initial rate may be as high drier conditions prevail. IPCC.. 2002). Frazão et al.M. Considering aerosol particles. the Large amounts of CO2 are released when peat carbon sequestered by oil palms does not balance out the soils are drained to establish plantations and thus are GHGs emitted as a result of land-clearing fires and GHG allowed to oxidize and decompose: estimates range from emission from fallow land and plantation establishment 26 to 146 Mg CO2 ha−1 year−1 (Schrier-Uijl et al. haze.) Mg CO2 ha−1 over 25 years to very high fruit production (Lamade & Boillet. 2009. resulting in direct and indirect modifications all these variables.) Mg CO2 ha−1 over 30 years (Fargione et al. 2005. The difference between Land-clearing fires lead to large releases of CO2 . The rate of CO2 release from peat oxidation peaks during El-Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. VOC emissions from oil palms These estimates vary because the rate of CO2 emissions are higher than for forests and can lead to reduced air depends on drainage depth and changes with time since quality (Fowler et al. 2005a. mechanisms (Bonan. which then decomposes and releases additional CO2 (Schrier-Uijl et al. and increased soil respiration (Ishizuka comparison to CO2 (Ishizuka et al. while conversions on peatlands lead to carbon more biomass per hectare each year than forests due losses of 1486 ± 183 (S.. climate regulation function (see below). Also. 2008).... Typically. calculated for a typical drainage leads to different local microclimatic conditions resulting in depth of 60–85 cm. & Goh. while nitrous Sommer et al.. 2015). 2013). (Murdiyarso. uptake and release as a result of processes taking place Oil palm plantations usually store less carbon in the soil above and below ground. of peat soils when they are drained. Quantifying the overall effect of than forests (Aweto. During fire periods.. and fires is added to the soil by leaf litter and roots (Haron et al. 2013). 2005). to the GHG budget of oil palm plantations. it is only 55–65% of forest soil carbon levels burned vegetation is stored long-term as biochar/charcoal. annualized over 50 years. the extent of soil carbon loss seems to depend greater global warming potentials (298 and 25 CO2eq per on initial levels. Most available fire events of 1997 have been estimated to be 0. Overall. 2013). 2005. albedo and water-regulating (S. as well as GHGs and et al. 2000). 2005... Sommer.. Marlier et al.) Mg CO2 ha−1 over 30 years (Fargione oil palm plantations assimilate more CO2 and produce et al.. 2013). This (a) Greenhouse gas fluxes additional carbon loss is estimated to increase total carbon Net GHG fluxes depend on the balance between GHG losses by up to 22% (Moore et al. 2000. land-use changes from forest to oil palm plantation requires Ishizuka et al.D. 2008). carbon-poor (Smith et al. 2005b)... 2000). Fires can also indirectly increase emissions compounds (VOCs).. land clearing. acting as a carbon sink.. like any vegetation. the most robust currently available of solar irradiation (Langmann et al.. 2006) and producing ash.. 2008)... 2005. by exposing organic-rich soil layers to rapid decomposition from oil palm plantations. . Lamade & Boillet. Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) is the main GHG contributing increased soil disturbance and temperatures (Aweto.. a precursor to tropospheric ozone.. Each additional 10 cm of drainage increases cultivation create severe air pollution episodes (Langmann CO2 emissions by approximately 9 Mg CO2 ha−1 year−1 et al. assimilate CO2 soil to oil palm plantation results in mean carbon losses from the atmosphere. and including higher air and soil temperature and lower air humidity in oil the initial emission peak just after drainage (Page et al. The replacement of forest by (Ali. Dommain & Joosten. 2012). While a small fraction of the carbon in equilibrium. and young oil 2009. both forests and oil palm plantations also decreases in the first from vegetation and soil (Fargione et al. 2008). Land-clearing fires for oil palm drainage. In addition. when immediately after drainage. the empirical estimate for CO2 emissions from peat drainage different structure of oil palm plantations compared to forest is 86 Mg CO2 ha−1 year−1 . 2012) and then decreases with time. The generally observed lower soil palm stages and typically results in lower carbon stored and carbon storage in oil palm plantations results from increased a negative GHG balance compared to forests (Fargione et al. 2005) even if some studies have reported integrating across all stages of the land-use change including similar carbon stocks in both land-use systems (Tanaka et al. 2015. most is released. Taylor & Inubushi... 2015). 1998. 2012). 2010) to 3452 ± 1294 Kotowska et al. decreased leaf litter input (Lamade oxide (N2 O) and methane (CH4 ) emissions are modest in & Boillet.b. are the main form of land clearing in Indonesia (Kim Smith et al. 2005). Land needs decade or so after plantation establishment as organic matter to be cleared to establish oil palm plantations. Additionally.. Gas and climate regulation CO2 emissions from burning soils are particularly large on is one of the most studied ecosystem functions in the peat.. 2010). (Lamade & Boillet. with little loss in soils that are already molecule of N2 O and CH4 . The conversion of forest on mineral Oil palm plantations.81–2.57 Pg C studies focused on emissions of GHGs and volatile organic (Page et al. Hooijer et al. 2009). colloquially referred to as (Couwenberg. The emissions from peat fires for Indonesia during the context of oil palm expansion (Table 1).. 1995.. (Fargione et al.. VOC emissions as 178 Mg CO2 ha−1 year−1 in the first 5 years (Hooijer increase (Muraleedharan et al. despite their However. of 702 ± 183 (S. 2011). Hatano et al. These air-pollution episodes are particularly strong 2010). palm plantations compared to forest (Hardwick et al. 2007).. respectively. which oil palm plantations represents a large loss in gas and speeds up peat decomposition (Murayama & Bakar. but even when soil carbon reaches an et al. decomposition in young plantations as a consequence of 2008). 1995.. 2013). Hooijer et al. 1996). 2007. Melling. 2011a).

5◦ C warmer in temperature and litter characteristics and are generally low oil palm plantations than in primary forests. 2011). Specifically. 2011) and negative impacts on human in CO2 uptake remains unclear (Murdiyarso et al. Henson.. atmospheric chemistry. This effect is more pronounced et al. Schrier-Uijl et al. Rehabilitation and particulate matter. but they also have a direct effect conversion of peatland primary forest to oil palm plantation on local microclimates. atmosphere than forests. 2008. the emission of VOCs from oil palm plantations is observed due to fertilization usually being applied indirectly affects regional and global climate (Misztal et al. 2011). Sheil between 36 and 91 Mg C ha−1 (Tomich et al. and extending and (Murdiyarso et al. forests (Fowler et al. 2009.. However. 2012). 2010). directly around the palms and not homogeneously over 2011). 2011. cited in Bruun et al. considering that land-clearing fires continue to be (Misztal et al. limiting flooding may prevent increased et al. While the relationships between unless very long timescales are considered. Pyle et al. decreasing air quality (Reddington et al.. Reducing nitrogen & Brauer. 2010. 2015). Dislich and others an argument in favour of oil palm cultivation. Pyle et al. Fowler et al. during the El Niño episodes in 1994 would require stopping the development of new plantations and 1997. 2013). high spatial variability in N2 O emissions Thereby. Fowler as well (Hardwick et al.. Society..g.. Schrier-Uijl et al.. 2015). How N2 O emissions increases of ozone concentration in oil palm plantations increase after fertilizer application in relation to increases (Hewitt et al.. 2015). health. 2011). 2005) as well as long-term health problems (Ostermann CH4 emissions (Schrier-Uijl et al.. see Table 3). Glover & Jessup. and global climate (Royal Society. could promote CH4 oxidation and thus CH4 uptake (Melling less dense canopies and a lower leaf area index than forests. (2005) found only small fluxes in young (compared to mature) oil palm plantations (Luskin of CH4 both in forest and oil palm plantations. by sequential replanting that leaves a range of palm 2010)... 2009. 2011. 2002. with They make up less than 10% in terms of CO2eq of the total large differences in air moisture content and soil temperature GHG emissions (Page et al.. On mineral soils. 2006). Oil palm plantations have lower.. In NOx . Studies have 2003. 2011). For example. drier. 2001. Kamphuis et al. 2009). especially in dry areas with moderate or low carbon stocks... Forest fires enforcing the current moratorium on new concessions in release carcinogens and toxic gases such as CO. 2015). Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. The through GHG emissions.. 2009. & Potts. fires in Southeast Asia led to tremendous air on peat land as peat oxidation and peat fires are the pollution with severe negative impacts on human health largest oil palm-related GHG sources. 2002. Negative microclimatic effects associated addition... and climate rate of carbon uptake does not make up for the carbon are still poorly understood (Wilkinson et al. Land-clearing fires can related to oil palm cultivation is to limit oil palm expansion to lead to severe smoke and haze pollution. et al. and up to 4◦ C compared to temperate peat soils (Couwenberg et al.. Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. et al. CH4 penetration. NO2 and primary forests (Austin et al. warmer in oil palm plantations than in logged forests. A recent study in Borneo found that mean emissions from tropical peat soils depend on water table. Soil texture plays an important role for N2 O emission as well (Sakata et al. the plantations (Fowler et al. store 145 ± 53 Mg C ha−1 (Pan et al.. 2008). (b) Air quality (d) Mitigation Oil palm plantations affect local and regional air quality mainly in two ways: air pollution from land-clearing fires. 2006). this higher VOC concentrations.. restoration of converted peatlands is also an option (Table 3).. Oil palms are a major emitter of the VOC isoprene Finally. The most effective possible action to reduce GHG emissions and increased emissions of VOCs. future increases in NOx concentrations due use (Murdiyarso et al.. fertilizer use can reduce nitrogen-based emissions (N2 O. 2011). ... 2014) and causing immediate respiratory problems (Mott On mineral soils.1548 C. 2007. 2015). This is because isoprene Kotowska et al. 2013). 2013) and increased mortality (Johnston et al. because of their lower canopy cover and lower leaf area index. Plevin & Hill. while tropical rainforests typically can lead to the production of aerosols/haze and ozone. where traffic volume is high. maximum air temperatures were up to 6. 2010). crop yields. Melling et al. as and other VOC emissions from oil palm plantations are forests have more aboveground and belowground biomass generally expected to decrease surrounding air quality (Royal than oil palm plantations (Germer & Sauerborn. and in general produce more VOCs than used despite being outlawed in Malaysia and Indonesia. 2002. 2005a). (c) Local climate Methane emissions from oil palm plantations and their controlling factors are highly variable depending on their Oil palm plantations are expected to affect global climate establishment on mineral soils or on peatlands. isoprene released when forests are cleared for oil palm cultivation.. measured similar ozone concentrations in the boundary Oil palm plantations also release more N2 O into the layers of forests and oil palm plantations (Hewitt et al..... ages and maintains canopy cover (Luskin & Potts. Additionally. this years. fires add black carbon to the atmosphere. 2011).... 2013). estimations for especially in areas where nitric oxide (NOx ) concentrations the time-averaged carbon stock of oil palm plantations range are high as well (e. 2011). 2011a). mainly due to nitrogen (N) fertilizer 2011). However.. which with clear-cutting senescent plantations can be mitigated might enforce global warming (Fargione. O3 . (2011) and Ishizuka et al. and allow more light shown to reduce CH4 uptake (Hassler et al. while on mineral soils this conversion has been and as a result are warmer. 2008. Fowler to fertilization and industrialization might lead to critical et al.

gas & climate regulation. Stichnothe & Schuchardt (2010) (e. Pennock & Corre (2001). MEE Hooijer et al. MR Koh et al. SF. Koh et al. IF Colchester et al. WT. . (2009). Banabas et al. Bhagwat & Willis vegetation cover to increase diversity and (2008). MEE Page. (2012) and Jauhiainen et al. (2000). WT. SE. MEE. (2015) development of plantations on peat land GR.g. GR. (2009) Plant polyculture plantations to grow multiple RN. OR. Chung et al. RN Abram et al. Drainage (1989). (2012) Avoid establishment in flood plains and areas WRS. (soil) erosion prevention. RN. Foster et al. SE. GR Koh (2008b) and Prescott et al. (1979). no GC. accounting for GC. (2014) prone to flooding Limit flooding on mineral soils GC Schrier-Uijl et al. (2015) Include buffer areas between plantations and forests RN. MEE. SF e. guidelines. pesticides with biological pest control and Environment Conservation Department (2002) and herbicides with manual weeding when possible Yusoff & Hansen (2007) Increase diversity and structural complexity of WT. SF Goh. (2011) and Azhar et al. P. (2006). BC. (2012) temperature and decrease decomposition rates Maintain a hydrological buffer zone around GC. IF. medicinal resources. SE Environment Conservation Department (2002) Replant plantations sequentially to protect GC Luskin & Potts (2011) microclimatic conditions Improve biodiversity practices Use integrated pest management and replace WRS. pollination. OR Enhance enforcement of burning prohibitions GC. information functions. (2011) and de Blécourt et al. RN.g. MEE. Aratrakorn et al. WRS. (2011) or historic importance Require that sufficient habitat remains for RN. (2011). WT Griffiths & Fairhurst (2003) and Comte et al. (2009). GR Caudwell & Orrell (1997). and weather to minimize nutrient leaching losses Improve hydrological practices. forest cover intact and use terracing to Walsh et al. (2008) Use mulch from plantation wastes (e. soil fertility. Murtilaksono et al.Ecosystem functions of oil palm versus forest 1549 Table 3. Agamuthu & Broughton (1985) Use composted plantation and mill waste as fertilizer GC. and reduce erosion and Stichnothe & Schuchardt (2010) Maintain hydrological buffers around streams WRS. P. WRS. RN Environment Conservation Department (2002) and forest moratorium policy Rehabilitate developed peatlands Keep water table as high as possible and rewet soil GC. WRS. SF. P. Yan & Yagi (2010) Nutrient models. Fairhurst and increase infiltration. (2014) forest products and enhance structural complexity and biodiversity Controlled breeding of oil palms to maintain GR Corley & Tinker (2003) genetic diversity and local adaptation Protect areas and species of spiritual. GR Environment Conservation Department (2002) and Koh et al. and use silt-pits and foothill drains to prevent Environment Conservation Department (2002) and sediment and pollution from entering streams Comte et al. and foliar sampling GC. (2012) to maximize efficiency of fertilizers Careful application of fertilizer. RN. SE. FRM. decomposers. FRM. IF Yule (2010) endemic species and genotypes Improve waste management Treat organic wastes from oil palm plantations WT e. (2010) and Othman et al. MR. MEE. SF sensu Akiyama. P. Fairhurst (1996). SF Comte et al. (2008) increase infiltration. SF Haag & Kaupenjohann (2001). but see Azhar et al. to produce other products or energy) a BC. food & raw materials. MR. Rieley & Banks (2011b) plantations to protect neighbouring peatlands Compact peat soil to reduce oxidation and GC Schrier-Uijl et al. GC. Maene et al. water regulation & supply. (2010). Koh (2008a). refugium & nursery functions.g. SE. GR. and biological control agents) Maintain epiphyte coverage RN. WRS. ornamental resources. Department of Irrigation & fruit bunches. SF. and reduce erosion (1996) and Banabas et al.g. (2014) reduce soil erosion when applicable Minimize the amount of time that soil is bare WRS. soil conservation practices and protection of microclimate Plant herbaceous ground cover to slow run-off WRS. WRS. SE Dorren & Rey (2004).g. Yule (2010) and Austin et al. (2011) Maintain ground cover on peat to reduce soil GC. (2013) Leave areas with slopes >25% with natural MEE. BC. GR. Moderation of extreme events. Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. WT e. waste treatment. landform. Mayfield vegetation and include areas of native MR. Härdter & Fairhurst (2003) soil type. MEE. Couwenberg et al. (2012) Use slow-release coated fertilizers GC. Caniago & Siebert (1998). (2013) pollinators. MEE. slope. empty WRS. Potential mitigation options for retaining and improving ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations Mitigation options Ecosystem functions improveda Source(s) Protect high-carbon and high-biodiversity areas No new concessions in primary forest. cultural. genetic resources.g. biological control. WT Department of Irrigation & Drainage (1989). (2013) decomposition prior to planting (but planting on peat soil should be avoided) Improve fertilization practices Plant a leguminous ground cover GC. abundance of species (e. GR. OR (2005). Ponnamma (2001). palm fronds) to slow run-off. WT Hooijer et al.

g. 2004. For example. oil palms versus 1000–1800 mm year−1 for lowland forests. like giant sponges. 2012) and baseflow accounted for 54% of streamflow in oil palm can be reduced to some extent with management (Yusop.g. This decrease in storage sediment loads increased from below 50 Mg km−2 year−1 in increases the risk of both floods and droughts (see below). and with insufficient replicates to hydraulic conductivity before land conversion. palm plantations are based on only a few measurements This increases the risk of floods (Rieley & Page. e.. leading to greater decrease in water quality. Tan et al. rates lead to surface run-off and reduced groundwater recharge. more data are needed establishment will cause the greatest difference in cases where on soil carbon. The irrigation and micro-sprinklers are considered to be suitable decreased dry-season flow increases the risk of drought. 2005.. In addition. plantations (Yusop et al. but have of Irrigation & Drainage. 2004. The best available estimates of gas fluxes from oil Bruijnzeel. peat soils. and methods for irrigating oil palm and the best estimates on yield on peat soils this risk is amplified by the loss of water storage increase are 20–25 kg fresh fruit bunches ha−1 mm−1 even if due to peat drainage (Clark et al. and a coming from groundwater) is decreased. Rieley. either quickly to fire or slowly establishment of ground cover decreases this impact but to oxidation. microclimate) associated with changes extreme (e. et al. and irrigation can be used to increase even though total annual streamflow coming from oil palm their productivity during dry periods by improving the sex plantations is usually greater. due to the area that is burned daily would help in reducing the air land clearing. Dislich and others enforcement needs to be enhanced. the biophysical changes (e. palm plantations found evapotranspiration rates to be similar and quality of water stored in and flowing through and out to those of forested catchments (1000–1300 mm year−1 for of an ecosystem (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2007. and N2 O emissions (Lamade & Boillet. Rieley. ratio (female/total inflorescence production) and reducing when groundwater is the main water source. albedo. (b) Water quality Sediment run-off is one of the largest water quality problems (a) Water storage and supply in and around oil palm plantations. emissions the previous landscape was very effective at preventing floods from drainage canals and ponds in plantations. less extreme as plantations mature (Comte et al. leading to floods (Page et al. soil subsidence due to in the Department of Irrigation & Drainage (1989) study. 2007. 2008).. from short-term studies using techniques which are not 1997. Bradshaw et al. Tan these effects on yield are only seen after 3 years (Carr. 2004). forest to 400 Mg km−2 year−1 immediately after clearance Peatlands. although the magnitude of the difference before measurements which only consider soil GHG fluxes but not and after plantation establishment depends on the whole-ecosystem fluxes.. 2007. baseflow (streamflow water yield (the total amount of water flowing out). Oil palms have been found to be forests (Abdul Rahim & Harding. For example. and on CH4 (i. permanently reducing the area’s water storage sediment loads in water bodies remain higher than in forest: capacity (Andriesse. Young oil palm plantations also have much higher et al. Bruijnzeel. 2011). Plantation cover soil heterogeneity). hold large quantities of water. streamflow in dry seasons. 1989). Futter & Bishop. Schrier-Uijl 2009). annual water yields than forests and the difference can be surface energy fluxes.e. Banabas et al. 2016).. e. Drip be lower (Bruijnzeel.. 2009). Clark et al. the role of ground-cover plants. However. 2007.. heavy machinery. The conversion of forest to oil palm plantation generally Bruijnzeel. through a decrease in evapotranspiration (Rieley. 2002. 2014). Locally. This means that. timing. increased peak discharge and decreased time-to-peak (Department of Irrigation & Drainage. Water yield is increased received little attention. an increase in annual While overall water yield is increased.. chamber 2007). in one study. Rieley. as it is greatly Water storage in oil palm plantations may be reduced in increased by the decreased ground cover and increased two ways: through peatland drainage and decreased water surface run-off in plantations. . In addition. pollution impacts (Environment Conservation Department. Comte et al. or traffic (Bruijnzeel. resulting in an amplified catchment response to (e) Research gaps rainfall events.. always representative of the whole ecosystem (i. 2005). but at the very least. is likely to the abortion of immature inflorescences (Carr. limiting rates are reduced through soil compaction. 2012).. leads to a decrease in water storage. 2011). susceptible to drought. 1989. 1989).1550 C. infiltration (Merten et al. 1992). Department in land use are important drivers of climate change. 1988). 2012) and reduced infiltration rates. 270–420% increase in Malaysia. 2004). 2002. 2013). (Department of Irrigation & Drainage. Rieley. peat oxidation or burning can lower the soil surface enough sediment loads dropped only to 100 Mg km−2 year−1 after that the water table can rise above it during periods of legume cover was established. The Drained peat is inevitably lost. 2004. Ellison. irrigation may also contribute to the depletion of aquifers and increase water scarcity (Famiglietti.g. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society.. (2) Water regulation & supply There are few comparable studies on evapotranspiration of oil palm plantations of different ages but studies on mature oil Water regulation and supply refers to the amount.e.g. 2007. Infiltration fires could be eliminated entirely. 2009).. 2004. but these changes tend to become variability in water yields (Bruijnzeel. It is unclear whether such high rainfall. This soil loss can be a severe Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. Reduced infiltration 2002). 2007) but 70% of streamflow in Chan & Katimon. 2007). Adnan & Atkinson. 2011).

1992). the term ‘disturbance prevention’ used by de Groot et al. 2015). help to slow run-off. Gharibreza et al. this may increase fuel loads and thus the vulnerability of forests to canopy fires (Mesquita. Third.. to leaks (Ahmad. Further study of water dynamics in because oil palm plantations are drier and more open than mature oil palm plantations is needed. increases the risk of landslides on steep terrain (Imaizumi. Verhagen. 1984). Delamônica & Laurance. 2004). soil (c) Mitigation stability is generally lower in plantations and agricultural land because there is less ground cover and soil structure than in The negative impacts of peatland drainage are likely to forests (Sidle et al. 2012). Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. which usually can burn only plantations at different plantation ages also are lacking during times of moisture stress (Cochrane. making them difficult a problem when organic fertilizers are used (Okwute & to extinguish. 1999. the risk of shallow landslides be irreversible (Comte et al. 1992. 1984). 1987a. 1997). peat that has been drained for plantation management practices in plantations (Comte et al. they increase soil acidity. Oneka & Flooding and drought were discussed in Section III. many ways (Hope. First. 2013). establishment is very flammable due to its high content investigating the impact of pesticides in water bodies (Comte of organic matter and flammable resins (Mackie. Sidle & Kamei. due to high biochemical oxygen demand. only a water quality in the surrounding area (Wösten. Second. Khalid & roots (Starkel. these lower layers are exposed to oxygen. and reduction of (b) Wildfires herbicides have the potential to reduce eutrophification and The establishment of oil palm plantations increases the contamination of streams. O’Loughlin. 2012). 1984).. reduction of pesticides. 1998. 2003)... and herbicides are inevitably washed (a) Landslides away. and not oil palm plantations in particular. 1984. oil palm plantations are in general Isu. 2003). Ismail & Van few studies addressed wildfires. Walsh et al.. streams and rivers near oil palm mills are geological. droughts and landslides... (Bilotta & Brazier. Another research priority degradation of surrounding forests. This is (Comte et al.. Buschman et al. edges and in small forest fragments. contributing to eutrophication of water bodies and The establishment of oil palm plantations is likely to negatively affecting water quality and aquatic organisms increase the probability of shallow landslides.Ecosystem functions of oil palm versus forest 1551 threat to aquatic ecosystems (Edinger et al. 2011. and water bodies risk and frequency of wildfires in surrounding areas in (Table 3).. In addition. while roads can facilitate fire igniting and spreading (2002). Ismail & Bhatia. particularly young management practices can help improve water regulation plantations. topographic. 2009). and increase groundwater recharge (Table 3). Hardwick et al. allowing salt water to and surrounding areas than in forests and their surroundings. 2008. but the terminology change acknowledges that some as well (Mackie. Thus.g. Fertilizers. Improved hydrological practices reject this hypothesis. It is defined as the ability of an ecosystem to Drainage of peat soils for plantation establishment also prevent and mitigate disruptive natural events (de Groot has consequences for water quality. In existing plantations. should increase in oil palm plantations. 2010). Comparisons of water dynamics of oil palm more flammable than forests. Kemp et al. we found no direct data to confirm or and supply (Table 3). Chokkalingam & Anwar. while deforestation Mustafa. increase infiltration. 2008. As the drained peat subsides or is the moderation capacity of agricultural areas in general lost to oxidation. Fragmentation may also allow an The term ‘moderation of extreme events’ is equivalent to increase in human activities that can start wildfires (Sheil et al. Some peat soils occur et al.g. Naidoo.. Bruijnzeel. Wijk. and assessing whether nutrient leaching is still Peat fires can burn underground. 2012). drought. (3) Moderation of extreme events 2002. peat drainage reduces the ability of landslides. there is the impact of oil palm production itself. 2012). intrude (Silvius & Giesen. cited by Silvius. Finally. In addition. 2012). Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. 2007).. 2000). Risks of flooding.. 2004). Improved fertilization practices. 2008.. if they show the same differences from forest as young the establishment of oil palm plantations tends to lead to plantations (Comte et al. deep landslides (>3 m soil depth) are mostly influenced by 2013).. In addition. . The majority of As they oxidize. Malcolm & Tomasek. et al. Finally. 2005.b. Most of the studies we found examined above acid sulphate soils.. fires used for vegetation (d) Research gaps clearing greatly increase the risk of accidentally starting There is a need for studies identifying actual water wildfires. 2006). and wildfires are all higher in oil palm plantations peatlands to act as a freshwater buffer. as it is unknown forests (e.. and climatic factors and should not often contaminated with palm oil mill effluent (POME) due be affected by land use (Ramsay. As tree mortality is elevated at forest (Bruijnzeel. Oil palm plantations is to determine methods of restoring dry-season water flow may fragment forests. functioning. Bilotta & disturbances may be necessary for some ecosystems and their Brazier. However. Mackie. Laurance et al. groundwater. 2012).2a. pesticides. 1972. 2002. 2009). which may affect studies investigated floods. Morton et al. whereas large. 2011). POME has also It is known that forests reduce the probability of shallow been shown to have negative effects on aquatic ecosystems landslides by stabilizing the top metres of soil with their (e.

2002). and hence the spatial patterns terracing to be effective. Soil erosion can be minimized by soil conservation practices breakdown of aggregates. Walsh et al. Most soil losses suggest leaving areas with slopes >25% with their natural occur during plantation establishment (Fig. increasing surface run-off and the potential for soil erosion (Sidle We did not find any studies directly addressing the risks of et al... Sonneveld & Veldkamp. Table 3). The strategies for reducing the risk of extreme events in 2015). as clay Terraces should be adapted to local conditions and be fractions are more easily removed and redistributed over combined with additional soil conservation practices (see the landscape than the heavier silt and sand fractions (Lal. LAPSUS-based soil erosion and sedimentation alter the biological process of estimates of soil erosion and sedimentation have been soil organic carbon (SOC) mineralization. 2001. Several other soil erosion intolerant to inundation (Mantel. Finally. Rates of soil erosion should then decrease landslides or wildfires in or around oil palm plantations. Avoiding Based on estimates from erosion models. lowland forest conversion to smallholder oil palm forest degradation + conservation. it must be well planned. Such redistribution of SOC within the landscape and its net loss tools can be used to inform policies and methodologies. erosion (e. SOC losses from forest conversion to and around oil palm plantations are quite straightforward. landscape as possible (Environment Conservation Department. B). one can expect draining peatlands. and properly maintained (Dorren & Rey. The greater than in natural forests. . 2000. position/landform shape. with plantation age. sustainable management plantations caused the loss of.g. constructed. 2015). Sufficient vegetation Maene et al. 2015). Hartemink. infrastructure (Fig.. In a recent pan-tropic e. agent of these four phases of erosion strongly influences landscape process modelling at multi dimensions and scales transport and sedimentation processes. droughts. on average. For example. Soil texture affects transport and redistribution of soil. soil loss from oil palm plantations to be about 50 times helps reduce the risks of floods. correctly of soil redistribution (Schoorl. so that soils are left bare for as little time cover/land use. 40% of stored of forests. Parent material and its which has been shown to reduce soil erosion and SOC position in the landscape influence transport-limited and losses in converted landscapes (de Blécourt et al. in turn. To prevent landslides.1-m depth during Improved methodologies for the estimation of soil loss and Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. 2012). smallholder oil palm plantations were detected even down Measures to increase infiltration and groundwater recharge to 0. 2000). Bruijnzeel. 1D. (4) Erosion prevention (a) Mitigation The soil erosion process involves four phases: detachment. 2006).5-m depth. Hartemink. which usually have very establishment of oil palms in flood plains and other areas low annual sediment losses (<1–2 Mg ha−1 . 1D. transport/redistribution. management practice. (LAPSUS). although even in conversion need to be studied in the context of oil palms mature plantations the canopy is broken by roads and other as well.g. and climate. vegetation growth. When and management practices.. landforms. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. Damris & Kuzyakov. Corre et al. Lastly. 1988). 2005).g. 2000). These four phases depend strongly on land establishment. Gerontidis & Marathianou.. In addition. Moreover. For detachment-limited erosion.g. precipitation intensity as an Soil erosion and sedimentation model predictions [e. as the oil palm canopy closes and Drought risks due to meso-climatic effects of land-use the root network develops (Fig. REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and study. and fires. whereafter a steady-state condition of SOC stocks was attained (van Straaten et al. Hartemink. 1A–C) is increased the field. they can in turn affect losses in a converted landscape (e. Veldkamp & Bouma. 2014). and enhancement of forest carbon stocks). from the landscape (Corre et al. parent material. 2003). 2015). 2004. Buschman et al. 2004). and (Table 3) and by good planning before and during plantation sedimentation. (1979) found a threefold reduction in soil loss in cover and land use-associated management practices a plantation with mulched paths compared to a plantation which improve cover and water infiltration can reduce with uncovered paths. 2002). controls soil redistribution and sediment deposition (b) Research gaps (Swanson et al. 2002] could be tested in through forest conversion to oil palm (Fig. E). 2006). successfully used for landscape-scale estimates of net SOC and water and nutrient availability. Schoorl. the enforcement of laws against the land is bare and maximally exposed to wind and water the use of fire to clear land should be improved. Terracing is a commonly employed surface run-off and consequently soil erosion (Kosmas. soil erosion (Guillaume.. 2005). 1A. or draining them as shallowly as possible. land-clearing fires can cause soil to become water repellent (d) Research gaps (water repellency reviewed in DeBano. studies in oil palm catchments in Malaysia have found Abram et al.1552 C. when forest cover intact. Landscape position and landform shape influence transfer of water within and between landscapes which.g. Schoorl et al. prone to flooding should also be avoided as oil palm is 2006.. Schoorl One of the drawbacks of loss of sufficient vegetation cover & Veldkamp. Wosten & Verhagen. 2014). with emphasis on landscape positions. soil texture.. will help prevent floods and droughts (Table 3). Dislich and others (c) Mitigation the first 10 years of conversion. 2007.. especially in areas with steep slopes. SOC in the original forest soils in the top 0. see Hartemink. (2011) similar results (e.

2011). nitrate. 1989. organic fertilization. 2001). are commonly planted during plantation establishment as a 2008). sodium.g. Allen et al. and com- of stakeholders (de Koning et al. as such areas are characterized by high content of soil leaching that follows (Department of Irrigation & organic matter and soil nutrients as well as strong retention Drainage. on loam Acrisol soils relative to when tropical forests are converted to agricultural land-use clay Acrisol soils. removal of palm biomass (Hartemink. weed control) that will yield optimum benefits 70% decrease in base cation retention efficiency (defined as (e.g. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. lime. high ecosystem productivity is sustained even on highly 21–38 kg P ha−1 year−1 and 40–73 kg K ha−1 year−1 . Nutrient losses are especially (Comte et al. are also lost from established plantations through harvest and Pennock & Corre. nutrient-poor soils because of efficient cycling occasionally lime (200 kg dolomite ha−1 year−1 ). 2004. 2005). 2015. Kurniawan. The large amounts of nutrients previously bound in cover and can contribute 239 kg N ha−1 year−1 (Agamuthu the vegetation and soil organic matter are released in a & Broughton. However. and total aluminium and nutrient-use efficiencies in oil palm plantations. 2016). 2005) and leaching (Goh & Härdter.. in Jambi province (Sumatra.. 2001. 1985).2b). and increase accuracy of accounting for the benefit fertilizers. fruit bunches. Additionally. 147 kg K. This suggests trials to select for the optimal N. releasing a large quantity of N release of nutrients via decomposition and mineralization is that is vulnerable to leaching (Campiglia et al. 1996. because the magnitude of uptake from the newly established and fronds can all be used for mulch or compost. 2016).. .g. 2009). e. and 15 kg Mg in soil fertility and SOC depends on the initial soil fertility (Fairhurst. Indonesia). Addi- of rock-derived nutrients [phosphorus (P) and base cations] tional sources of N (138 kg urea-N ha−1 year−1 ) and K between vegetation and soil as well as their inherently high (157 kg K-KCl ha−1 year−1 ) are also applied (Allen et al. 2003).. Empty susceptible to losses through leaching and gaseous emissions. Fertilization rates (5) Soil fertility in smallholder oil palm plantations are typically very varied Soil fertility refers to the provision of sufficient soil nutrients depending on available monetary capital and distance to fer- essential for plant growth and the upkeep of nutrient cycles tilizer suppliers. their fertilizer ha−1 year−1 . 1996).. palm oil mill effluent. drainage leaching (d) Research gaps fluxes increased for oil palm plantations compared to the original forests (for ammonium.. between vegetation and soil. which crops is still relatively low (Mackensen et al. Dechert. this ground cover dies off pulse from burning of slashed vegetation. leguminous cover crops and mulch/compost release nutrients slowly and may have (a) Nutrient losses minimal risk of nutrient loss to drainage leaching or run-off.. In tropical forest ecosystems. 10 kg P. resulting in a decrease in soil fertility (Ngoze et al. post/mulch. Large amounts of nutrients (Table 3. in the implementation and monitoring of the REDD+ The main nutrient inputs in oil palm plantations are program. 2009). yield and profit) with maximum nutrient-retention 1 − base cation leaching losses ÷ soil exchangeable bases) in efficiency (or less nutrient losses) in the soil. and weathered. calcium. The subsequent when the canopy closes. Unlike pulse rates of applications of mineral fertilizers. P. various rates of chemical (defined as 1 − N leaching losses ÷ soil N availability) and a fertilization.. Large amounts of nutrients are lost during plantation Maintaining riparian buffers may also help recover leached establishment as a result of forest clearing and the increased nutrients. Veldkamp & Anas... biological nitrogen (N) fixation (Hedin et al. mulching with losses resulted in a 55% decrease in N retention efficiency compost. One study found that oil palms in a plan- high in the earlier years of crop establishment and decrease tation in Sumatra produced 10 Mg ha−1 year−1 of dry palm with time (Klinge et al. general. Brouwer & Riezebos.Ecosystem functions of oil palm versus forest 1553 SOC redistribution at the landscape level can reduce costs. For example. 2004). dissolved organic More empirical data are needed on nutrient-retention carbon. This 2015). 2012). 1998). leaching (Table 3).. For example. male inflorescences. Leguminous plants systems.g. These increased leaching for screening management practices (e. Haag & Kaupenjohann. (b) Nutrient inputs e. Sumatra. the eventual decline in soil fertility with age of conversion is Improved fertilization practices may improve soil nutrient abated although nutrient leaching losses are sustained (Allen balances and minimize risk of nutrient losses through et al. Kurniawan. and the magnitude of decrease fronds containing 125 kg N. Economic the soil under mature oil palm plantations compared to the evaluation should also be conducted on such management same soil type under the original lowland forest. In measured at 1. 2011). 2016).g. 2015.5 m soil depth at a site near Jambi. Large quantities of mineral fertilizers are used in oil palm plantations (Sheil et al. equivalent to 48–88 kg N ha−1 year−1 . gradually breaks down and releases nutrients into the soil Veldkamp & Brumme. 2015). of the original forest (Dechert. Kurniawan. (c) Mitigation in fertilized land-use systems like oil palm plantations. Increased fertilization levels lead to increased nutri- efficient cycling of nutrients between plants and soil is altered ent leaching losses (e. magnesium. van Straaten et al. smallholders apply 330–550 kg NPK-complete prior to their conversion to oil palm plantations. studies are needed to test management trials on-site Indonesia. nitrogen-fixing ground cover. and base cation input detrimental effects on water quality (see also Section III. requirements for achieving and sustaining profitable crop Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors..

we focus on plantations. As discussed in Section III.D. Further losses of pollinators can (a) Mitigation be anticipated due to pollution from large-scale fires.2b. Decomposition is influenced by particular. (Cocos nucifera) and so. Corre. but without compromising pollinating efficiency. 2007.. Sodhi & Elmqvist Vakili et al. America and Southeast Asia (Vaknin. 2005). 2015). 2011. 2012). We found only 36 papers on pollination Waste treatment refers to the ability of an ecosystem to functions provided by oil palm plantations (Table 1 and see remove or recycle organic or inorganic waste. plantations (Chung et al. Palm & Sanchez. even though concentrations requires additional study. However. Dislich and others production while preventing degradation in soil fertility. 2011). In the absence of any pollinating insects.. i. the data of Liow et al. fragmentation. nutrient levels and leaching losses in forest and oil palm plantations using a space-for-time substitution approach (7) Pollination (M.. and energy uptake of independent of cross-pollination (due to autogamy. those studies relating to the ecosystem functioning aspects of waste treatment. we major differences in pollination between forests and oil palm did not include these in the database. The weedy vegetation in oil palm average warmer and drier than forests (Hardwick et al. as well as wind pollination. Instead. Additionally. in forest habitats. the such is common practice in both smallholder and large-scale capacity of oil palms relative to forest to abate anthropogenic plantations.g. 1994). oil palm plantations generally support palms can also be used to treat a variety of pollutants. Ahmad et al. as drier conditions which makes them independent of pollinator availability should slow decomposition (Lamade & Boillet. biomass. Winfree (6) Waste treatment & Tarrant.g. 2014). Elaeidobius kamerunicus has been introduced into South decomposition rates of organic matter in oil palm plantations. In their native range. or to abate online Appendix S3). wind plays an important role in oil palm pollination (b) Research gaps (Dhileepan.1554 C. 2010). Elaeidobius weevils also pollinate other There is a clear need for studies of overall waste treatment palm species such as betelnut (Areca catechu) and coconut in oil palm plantations and differences from forests. Stichnothe & Schuchardt. oil palm plantations including comparison of net production (or removal) of may provide pollination functions to neighbouring organic and inorganic wastes at the plantation and in the crops. Liow. mainly in grasses). The ecosystem function pollination refers to the pollination of crops and wild plants (Klein et al.. 2010).. decline during the dry season. Sommer et al. Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors.e. the rate of come from observations along transects of only the lower decomposition of organic matter may differ between forests canopy and shrub layers.. the apomixis. which waste. and pollination functions within the remaining natural 1995. in theory. Ollerton. 2010).. personal observations). may be reduced in the future due to habitat loss. ecosystems. 1990). 2000) and therefore may improve 1983). Overall status of pollinators warmer conditions should speed decomposition (Aweto. and polyphenolic harvest and maintenance works) are lacking. but a greater diversity of litter decomposition rates (organic waste treatment) between pollinating bees. 2000). (2001) oil palm plantations and forests. . in particular empty fruit bunches and palm oil mill will only be discussed briefly below.. which may differ considerably and oil palm plantations as oil palm plantations are on from higher canopy layers. (2011) found no difference in (2001) found lower abundances. We note that there are many more noise. 2007). oil palms are pollinated mainly by Understorey vegetation can help maintain the abundance Elaeidobius weevils (Vaknin. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. lower species richness and abundances of invertebrate including heavy metal pollution (e. The data available are effluent (Stichnothe & Schuchardt. although organic wastes from oil Compared to forests. 2014). and isolation of habitats (Potts et al. kamerunicus (Table 3). while (Gabriel & Tscharntke. On-going studies are directly comparing soil noise has not been studied. direction of expected change is unclear. In surrounding environment. Because oil palm yields and species richness of understorey beetles in oil palm are dramatically lower without these weevils (Greathead. field studies on decomposition rates and nutrient leaf composition (e.g. Foster et al. 2010).. Hypothetically. and decomposer organisms (Barnes et al. However. Organic wastes from palm oil production can be recycled in oil palm plantations into mulch and compost or can (b) Pollination by Elaeidobius weevils be treated separately with the potential for additional bioenergy production (e. and the degree release from frond stacks (piles of senesced fronds spread over to which oil palm plantations result in a systematic change the whole plantation area or put on inter-rows to facilitate in nutrient composition. While there are too incomplete to come to any explicit conclusions about many studies on the technical aspects of waste treatment. pollinators (Sodhi et al. oil palm (a) Native pollinators plantations may act as net sources of organic waste to the surrounding environment. plantations (and in cropland in general) is predominantly and have lower biodiversity. Palm oil production results in large amounts of organic papers on oil palms as beneficiaries of pollination. Dhileepan Riparian buffers may reduce surface water pollution (1994) found that in India populations of E. 2012). lignin content.

and bats) in control. biological control in oil palm plantations is and pests (Oerke. Basri. 30–40% of potential crop yield is destroyed by pathogens However. pollination rates for both oil palms and insect-pollinated and R. In general.. Chung. the majority of ecosystems to prevent organisms from acting as pests or diseases (e. The main sity in oil palm plantations (see Table 3). chrysomelid pests in oil palm plantations (Chung et al. the main organisms that may act beetle Oryctes monoceros (Huger. 2011). 2005. For instance. Damage from the planthopper. Suryanto et al.g. The simplification of the biological or whether pollination is diminished due to loss of native and physiological environment creates unsuitable conditions pollinator diversity. 2009. Alternatively. Foster et al. are usually associated with one another and may reduce 2011. plantation 29–90% yield losses at high infestation levels. then.Ecosystem functions of oil palm versus forest 1555 (c) Mitigation and damages the growing point of the palm. and assassin bugs to control a variety Cheah & Ramalingam. butawengi. known as major biocontrol agents for a number of pests (Maas. 2011). 2003)... The potential importance of native for most biocontrol agents in the plantation because of a pollinators for oil palm fruit set and whether fluctuations significant decrease in food and habitat resources (Chung of oil palm fruit set and yield are driven by pollination et al. barn owls and snakes to control yield by about 12–80% (Liau & Ahmad.. (d) Research gaps but may be substantial. 2014). and reduce yields by 5–10% by consuming the mesocarp (Wood & Fee.. Tscharntke.. Bateman et al. control planthoppers (Gitau et al. Levang & Ghazoul. birds. 2014). 2011). & Hamdan. defoliators (e. 2003). There is limited knowledge of the differences in oil palm plantations and neighbouring forests. who introduce and manage species that combat oil palm pests and diseases (Wood.g. G. Murphy. Koh. pollination of other neighbouring palm crops. should be additional surveys of pollinator Many of these species could be targeted by biological abundance and diversity (including insects. 2009). rhinoceros of herbivorous insects (Turner & Gillbanks. but this carries the usual risks of exotic species common caterpillars and can cause severe defoliation (up to introduction (Foster et al. 1995. 2011). resulting in higher pest attacks. rattus diardii. Setora nitens). The holes give access to R. cited in initially bores into young oil palm spears through petioles Foster et al. An of birds and bats are lost in oil palm (Aratrakorn et al. Rhynchophorus ferrugineus). 2011). Sundram et al. see online Appendix S3). argentiventer). Clough & Tscharntke. priority. Caswell-Chen & Kogan.. 2010. needs to be assessed in terms of plantations are more susceptible to pest outbreaks than native its local and landscape-scale effects on native pollinators and forests (Nair. personal observations). 2007... as well (Savilaakso et al. rhinoceros pollinator species. but difficult et al. managed directly by plantation owners. 2008a. Finally. Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. Norris. Potineni & Saravanan. M. insectivorous (T. Elaeidobius kamerunicus.b). as predicted. organism becomes an agricultural pest or a disease if it 2006. Compared to forests. 2004. 2003. 2005.. frugivores (Rattus rattus diardii). 2011). . Peshin & Pimentel. Guerrieri et al. 2014).. Oryctes rhinoceros. These include fungi (a) Biological control within oil palm plantations and entomopathogenic viruses to control the rhinoceros In oil palm plantations. Shafie et al. Foster et al. 2007) and as pests or diseases can be categorized as trunk borers other trunk borers and lepidopteran pests. Sudharto & Purba. It is characterized by chlorosis of Direct comparisons of pollination success rates in oil palm fronds (Finschhafen disorder) and may kill palms (Woruba plantations and forest would be helpful in theory. and wilt diseases (Ganoderma control the Ganoderma fungus which causes basal stem rot boninense.. plana and S. Koh. birds and bats. Norman managers could implement measures to increase insect diver. has not yet been quantified.. This is likely a result of reduced species pollination. 2000. limitation is still unclear and requires further investigation Koh.. 2001). The oil palm industry’s reliance in most regions on a single This in turn produces favourable conditions for O. parasitoids to (e. 2008). Low population size and diversity causes damage to a crop that is above the economic threshold of predatory beetles might explain the high density of level (Norris et al.. This should improve mammalian pests are rats (Rattus tiomanicus. 2012). is risky.. 2005. 2014). The impact of biological control between oil palm plantations and forests deforestation and forest fragmentation and isolation. It would applications and clearance of the understorey as well as the also be useful to test whether oil palm plantations improve simplification of the surrounding landscape (Tscharntke et al.g. isolated forest fragments) also needs attention..g. Corley & Tinker. The adult of O. The potential for oil palm plantations to decrease diversity and abundance of native parasitoids and predators the pollination function in surrounding native habitat patches of oil palm pests due to local practices such as pesticide (e. Donald. 1995. 2008. 2006. R. boninense is a disease of old palms and to carry out in practice because of the drastically different can reduce yields by around 50–80% ha−1 by restricting plant communities and pollination systems. nitens are to address this would be to introduce additional Elaeidobius species. 2000). plant the fungus Trichoderma harzianum and endophyte bacteria to suckers (Zophiuma butawengi). 2009). The highest water absorption (Priwiratama & Susanto. One way larvae to develop inside the stem. Fitzherbert et al. 2011. ferrugineus. tropical monoculture tree as the use of fire for clearing. rats (Sheil et al. 2013). Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. which can reach densities of 600 ha−1 native plants (Mayfield. and potentially reduced crop yield (Aratrakorn The ecosystem function biological control refers to the ability et al. 2008a. 2002. Z. 2006). 2003. Globally.. which further damages the palm. 1999). have (8) Biological control difficulty adapting to oil palm plantations.. 2013).. Both trunk borer pests (Susanto. Metisa plana.

For instance. 2015.. It is necessary to should increase with plantation age. The habitat functions of oil palm plantations can be Spillover from crop fields to adjacent natural habitat or improved by changing management practices in planted crops has been little studied. and receives more light sorghum. 2009). against Fusarium rot in Berangan banana (Fishal. features into oil palm plantations to maintain robust bio. and greater risks (d) Research gaps of local and global extinction (Campbell-Smith et al. Management practices in oil palm plantations. weedy and exotic species than forests.. 2011). with logical control agent populations..1556 C. drier.. (Tscharntke et al. 2010). at least for birds tions – similar to the approach taken by Koh (2008a). addition. Gitau et al... reduced species movement. Oil palm plan- oil palm products can be used for pest control: empty fruit tations have a simpler structure than forests: their canopy is bunches can be used to combat rhinoceros beetles in coconut much lower.. such as the role of riparian buffers positive effect on bird diversity and abundance. Guerrieri et al. Foster et al. Norhayati.. rhinoceros beetles and plan. patches of semi-natural habitat within or surrounding plantations. Ehwan & Okuda. the use of integrated pest management negative effects on the habitat functions and biodiversity practices instead of chemical pesticides alone increases the of surrounding contiguous forests and forest fragments provisioning of biological control in oil palm plantations. 1995). one study showed specific environmental conditions required by many forest that soil disturbance caused by wild pigs feeding in oil palm species.g. 2015. 2008). Sheil also increase the provisioning of biological control – native et al. leading to increased utilization and higher likelihood see also Teuscher et al. there is some evidence that biodiversity is higher in both in forests and oil palm plantations. 2012). 2008). and growing flowering plants in the (a) Mitigation understorey.. 2010) in two important ways. There is a need for basic respect to available riparian and terrestrial habitats. As a result. Meon & Luskin & Potts. mainly surveys of biodiversity in oil palm plantations and forests that determine anuran species composition in oil palm plantations identify naturally occurring pest control agents and measure (Faruk et al. but areas. 2011. 2012. The establishment of oil palm plantations also has By definition. greater population isolation. Basri et al. and palm oil reduces beetle incidence in maize. 2011).. for a cost–benefit analysis) may of forest degradation and loss (Meijaard et al.. Fujinuma & Harrison. . and wheat grains (Kumar & Okonronkwo.. palm plantations is hotter.g. For example. Within smallholder plantations. 1991). oil palm plantations can also foster the spread of et al. 2005. Edwards et al. them to survive and reproduce.. In addition. oil palms (Aratrakorn et al. 2011. further reducing the chances of (c) Mitigation survival for many species (Foster et al. little depends on plantation age (Luskin & Potts. The overall effect of oil palm plantations on biological control in surrounding areas is unclear. Second. due to high levels of disturbance plantations correlated with the invasion of the exotic shrub and propagule pressure. 2011). as most studies on spillover areas and by maximizing unplanted areas maintaining Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. 2012a. 2014). for instance.. oil palm plantations contain more Clidemia hirta into forest (Fujinuma & Harrison.. spillover effects. in the plantation. 2005. Habitat quality biological control in oil palm plantations. First. increased invasion of non-native species. than the forest understorey (Hardwick et al. Blitzer et al. Teuscher research is needed on methods to maintain biological control et al. the understorey of oil Yun. Lucey et al. 2011).. 2013.. 2011) and is known about the contribution of native biodiversity to management intensity (Teuscher et al. (e. Koh. Further studies are needed on biocontrol. 2006) and wet rot in okra (Siddiqui et al. Drescher However. and the potential for incorporating the necessary habitat although the trend is not so clear for birds (Azhar et al. Furthermore. Because some oil palm pests also affect other crops.. as the canopy closes study the habitat requirements of biological control agents and structural complexity increases (Luskin & Potts. and are exposed to more agrochemicals. could reduce herbivory on forest fragmentation.. oil palm plantations are lacking the pests into surrounding areas. leading to edge effects. These functions are crucial 2011. in a range of condi.. 2012). smallholder than in large-scale plantations.. as flowering plants may provide supplemental food resources when prey are scarce (e..3).g. 2016). (2015) have shown that the density of native trees has a agents in the landscape. In their abundances. (Allou et al. While much research has focused specifically on oil palm The ability of oil palm plantations to provide habitat pests and diseases and methods for combatting them. Management practices that increase diversity (especially of plantation development usually increases access to forest arthropods and birds) in oil palm plantations (see Table 3. 2009. 2006.. 2011).. plantation establishment often results in insectivorous birds. 2011) and basal stem rot also affects for the maintenance of biodiversity and associated services the timber tree Acacia mangium (Eyles et al. Furthermore. 2014). 2008a). the upper canopy comprises only one species. see also Section I. and other plant growth forms such as lianas are completely endophytic bacteria isolated from oil palm roots can be used absent or reduced (Danielsen et al. provide habitats that meet species’ needs and thus allow thoppers are also pests of coconut (Huger. 2015). Dislich and others (b) Biological control in surrounding areas across habitat boundaries focus on effects of natural habitats on cropland (e. More (Azhar et al. surrounding areas may (9) Refugium & nursery functions benefit from the release of control agents of these pests in oil These functions refer to the ability of an ecosystem to palm plantations.

2009). Oil palm products can configuration. However. and distilled into palm wine (Corley & Tinker.. 2012b. monetary and non-monetary valuation of forest resources. management for biodiversity hinges with crude palm oil mainly being used in food and palm on increasing the diversity and structural complexity of kernel oil in the production of detergents.. 2012). pests. 2004. Oil palm trunks can be made into (b) Research gaps furniture (e. (10) Food & raw materials (c) Mitigation This function refers to the ability of an ecosystem to produce food and raw materials for human use. but see also Edwards et al. and POME can be used for animal feed.. Palm oil is the main output of oil palm plantations. Shackleton et al. Loh & Aziz. and and chemicals (Wahid et al.g.. 2006). Ahmad.. 2011). 2007. snakes. 2009). Darras. activated biodiversity research.Ecosystem functions of oil palm versus forest 1557 native vegetation (see Table 3. and improved varieties and management of forest-dependent communities are needed – including could result in yields over 10 Mg ha−1 year –1 (Wahid et al. and fish food. 2015). 2006. 2005). 2003. fuelwood. 479).. fruit shells. Oil & Tinker (2003. . paper. In Africa. jungle rubber.. the full range of palm plantations produce an average of 3–4 Mg ha−1 year−1 forest species that can be used for food and raw materials of oil.... The loss of context and in consideration of the long-term effects of these forest products and forest agriculture due to conversion gradual degradation of remaining forest habitats.. palm plantations to prevent the loss of some forest products. 2014b). Shackleton. A Oil palm outperforms other oil crops such as rapeseed and soy summary of active research topics is given by Corley by 3–8 times in production per hectare (Sheil et al. with some commercial plantations producing around is doubtless unknown and additional ethnological surveys 7 Mg ha−1 year−1 .. many forest products will be entirely absent from to forests. 2010).g. pigs. plastics. and for swidden/slash and burn agriculture functions and services must be explored within a multi-scale (Sheil et al. Oil palm may also contribute to local food insecurity when land is taken from rural or indigenous (d) Research gaps communities for commercial oil palm production (Nesadurai.. Koh et al. fermented. or secondary forest) on community composition and including many species used for food and raw materials (e. 2007). van Noordwijk et al.. As oil palm Some forest plants could potentially be cultivated in oil plantations are managed specifically for palm oil production. 2009). Additionally. K. to oil palm has negatively impacted many forest-dependent societies (Belcher et al. and impacts of smoke-related (Sheil et al. Bahurmiz that includes assessments of edge effects. 2006). considering that small patches over a 2006). 2008). direct products (a) Foods and materials from oil palm from the plantation and not downstream production). POME can be et al. ecological functioning inside oil palm plantations has been construction materials. Livestock can graze in letting epiphytes thrive (Koh.g. Similarly. sap is extracted. the influence of adjacent habitat type (e. scrubland. 2007. They require a landscape perspective carbon. 2003). Palm kernel meal and diversity of ground-cover plants. 2011). oil palm buffer zone to reduce impacts on adjoining forest areas.e. removal) may result in costs with no benefit to yield (Prescott. Sheil et al.g. forests produce a wider variety of foods harvestable oil palm plantations. plantations and our database only reflects a fraction of the research on this topic because the scope of our study only included local production (i. 2004). However. 2006. the role of adding habitat patches as refuges to increase functional biodiversity has (b) Loss of forest foods and materials not yet been quantified. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. resins. and species’ patch size requirements (Zurita also be used as fuels (e. Suhaily et al. Wanrosli et al. 2005). In planted areas. 2012).. Finally. Harsono et al. landscape & Ng.. see Edwards et al. In addition. 2013) or when palm oil is used for biofuels instead of food This is a well-researched ecosystem function for oil palm (Ewing & Msangi. 2008b. coverage. 2014. cosmetics. 2010).g. this function is increased in oil palm plantations compared However. may be hunted in oil palm plantations for food (Luskin spatially restricted large patch (Tscharntke et al. personal observations). but et al. and other waste products (empty fruit bunches. Delang neglected so far (but see Edwards et al.g... epiphyte produce a range of other food crops (Corley & Tinker. Finally.. leaves. Unplanted areas can also act as a before plantations reach full maturity. 2012). Further. these practices generally take place Edwards & Foster. Smoke from & Angelsen. vegetation – through increasing the height. More research into the role of increasing fermented to produce methane/biogas (Yacob et al. and rats. 265–269). pp. Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. and raw materials. oil palm plantations and intercropped plantations can also Management practices that harm biodiversity (e. rubber plantations Forests support many species that oil palm plantations do not. p. planting tree species. and fibres) can be Refugium and nursery functions are still underappreciated in used to make a variety of products (e. often considered as large distance may harbour many more species than one. Such timber and non-timber forest land-clearing fires has been shown to cause serious human products are especially important during times of crop failure health problems (Aiken. dissimilarity of community composition with distance is and oil palm waste products can be burned directly (Yusoff. forests pollution on wildlife habitat need to be addressed.. the in many regions are used for the cultivation of rattan and links between the Refugium & nursery functions and other jungle rubber. needed as well.

Consequently. Chong et al. discovery of new medicinally useful species remain active fields of research. including all parts of the plant (Opute. many of which were common generalist species. diabetes. Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. the long-term viability plantation ecosystems and identified 48 species of medicinal of forest plant and animal populations is expected to value. 2009). 2003). 2010.. In Kalimantan. 2008). For oil palm.. 2004). Studies of medicinal uses of oil loss. double-blind studies published in respected medical disease and disturbance resistance. assemblage level are most likely greatly reduced in oil Mathews. as recently shown However. 2003).g. However. a variety of uses have been ascribed and decreases in species abundances cannot be mitigated. 2011). palm oil has been used sum. concluding that land degradation and for most taxa (see Section I. Nair & Reghunath. Mitigation measures for biodiversity loss (see Table 3) will Caniago & Siebert.. 1975. Sasidharan et al. 2012). and are actively removed extinction of rare alleles and reduced gene flow between (Sarada. especially for species unknown to science.3). the conversion of forests to oil palm plantations for Malaysian ants (Bickel et al. of a variety of genetic origins (Hayati et al. 2010). 1969. genetic variability in oil palms has attracted considerable research (e. genetic resources are critical to maintaining global for soap production (Henderson & Osborne. 2006) and bats (Struebig leads to an impoverishment of the biotic community et al. Anecdotally.. In 2012. genetic resources at the forest conversion reduce the availability of medicinal plants. Rajavel Much of the loss of genetic resources due to the loss of species et al. and the mitigation of and over 2000 Southeast Asian forest species are used in women’s adaptation to climate change’ is internationally recognized healthcare (de Boer & Cotingting. 2014). oil palm agriculture Indonesian local healers use more than 250 medicinal can impact genetic resources in two important ways. 2004).. 2012). and the role (a) Mitigation of its antioxidants in treating disease (e.. genetic resources are further reduced (Danielsen et al. maintain oil palms for medicinal extracts of other plants (Arsic et al. to oil palm. plants of which Caniago & Siebert (1998) found the most First. 2011). isolated forest fragments (Vellend. Historically.. 2002) and health. 2003). Leaman & Cunningham. 2003). Emmanuel. With clonal propagation of oil palms. Documented uses of palm oil include treating prostate and natural genetic variation exists.. Many be negatively affected in oil palm landscapes due to the of these are considered weeds. 2007). Logeswaran & Latha. the expan- limited sources (Thomas. 2002). Watson & Hardon. regional. The plant species are used today worldwide for medicinal importance of genetic resources for ‘food security. diseases. public purposes (Schippmann. An estimated 52885 flowering evolution (modified from de Groot et al. as conversion of forest to oil palm plantations in old secondary forest (79 species) and the fewest in logged greatly reduces species richness and species’ abundances areas (18 species). see Section I. Mathews et al. and global scales compared to forest. Traditional use plantations. Second. 2008. Research cataloguing the biodiversity of Southeast Asian forests and its medicinal properties may (b) Research gaps allow species of medicinal importance to be conserved and Research gaps include quantifying the non-oil palm genetic their medicinal benefits retained. (Nagoya Protocol. use as a component in skin lotion. Corley sion of oil palm plantations represents a loss in this function & Tinker. Dislich and others (11) Genetic resources (12) Medicinal resources Genetic resources refer to the genetic material of organisms This function refers to medicinal resources derived from the present in an ecosystem including the potential for future organisms in an ecosystem. research is needed on the appropriate palm products would also benefit from ethnobotanical balance between selection for uniformly high-yielding strains studies. 2000) and to biodiversity and to maintaining high yields from oil palm cure colds and bad coughs (Macía. In general. 2010. genetic variation is expected to decrease even further due to the planting of high-yield clones (Corley & Tinker. genetic modification has been suggested to have remain unknown.. Yong & Nurulnahar (2007) surveyed oil palm palm plantations. journals. Such studies should be resources lost with conversion from forest.1558 C.. Several organizations. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. be difficult as the medicinal properties of many species In addition. of leaf extract has led to its study for wound-healing and antimicrobial properties (Chong et al. as well as guided by traditional ecological knowledge and detailed researching the necessary steps to prevent their irreversible ethnobotanical research. . On-going breeding programs can make conservation of oil palm genetic diversity (b) Mitigation and research gaps a priority (Corley & Tinker.. (a) Medicinal benefits of oil palm 2003). and as a carrier such as the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. at local. also help to maintain genetic resources.. biodiversity conservation. and medicinal claims should be backed up by and the maintenance of genetic diversity necessary to convey clinical. 2002. the potential to increase yield and resistance to disease and Both the medicinal uses of oil palm products and the stress (Corley & Tinker.g. Cochard et al. 2003).3) and with that to an because the oil palms themselves are derived from genetically overall loss of medicinal resources. 1998. Consequently. Sasidharan. 2009. Breeding can be carried out selectively to maintain genetic diversity while still Measures to mitigate the loss of medicinal resources will preserving local co-adapted traits (Corley & Tinker.

and vertebrates (fish. oil palm In Jambi province. Auliya. They are subject to individual domestic purposes (predominantly bird species. 1997. large oil palm monocultures are typically associated with few (a) Mitigation and research gaps information functions (Watkins. or jewellery. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. Feintrenie & Levang.. However the commercial offtake and trade for their (a) Information functions associated with oil palm and palm oil skins and medicinal uses is many times over that of the pet trade (see CITES. information functions.g. separate and combined effects of the oil palm industry Pfund et al. cultural. functions into: (i) aesthetic information. high rodent densities attracted to palm fruit (Buckle et al. Betta spp.. amphibians. are bird trapping from oil palm plantations (K. P. agro-ecological cultivation of oil palm in polyculture T. reptiles. 2012. 2010. 2015). sputatrix) harvested for their skins and between oil palms. in the pet trade (i. spiritual and historic has led to population decreases of some economically aspects (23).e. i. 2011). butterflies. 2014). Nijman. definition modified from de provide the basis for rather intangible benefits that people Groot et al. constituted spiders.. and several rat snake species (e.e.. forest cover and decreasing accessibility to forests. to 15 species in oil palm. health.. 2011..g. Further. In general. N. few articles address the triad (e. 1997. 2011). Lee et al. and spiritual purposes and the trade in ornamental species on the availability (Meijaard et al. and (iv) scientific found (Table 1). 2014)]. through a variety of such landscapes. Scleropages formosos. Wijedasa functions is due to a focus of research on the socioeconomic & Corlett.g. smallholder farmers supplies considerably fewer birds at lower prices than do were found to perceive small oil palm plantations as clean forests. and much of the trade is illegal (e. 2012.. it appears that the ornamental resources in forests are greater than in oil palm plantations and irreplaceable (b) Information functions lost with forest conversion to oil palm in the case of birds. including palm oil. 1993.. 2015). Python brongersmai.g. representing a decrease in the ornamental resources and beautiful. Gruca et al. appealing in particular plants (especially orchids). 2002). (iii) cultural/artistic and moths)... 2002). . local food cultures (Atinmo & Bakre. largely benefit from oil palm plantations loss of information functions during forest conversion is (Whitten et al. Most of these papers of peat land for the cultivation of oil palm plantations address aesthetic. in contrast to formerly present agroforests ecosystem function. Sumatra. Naja sumatrana. A few ground-dwelling python species used benefits of oil palms (e. invertebrates (bird landscape elements. P. darmo. van Andel & Balslev. as we found found to decrease in cultivated land relative to forests (Sheil only 30 papers relevant to information functions in oil palm & Liswanti. Yule. 2010.. 2012. oil palms may also are collected from forests (33 species from forest compared be incorporated into local culture and traditions. Ratnasingam et al. e. (Therville. cultural and artistic.g. With deforestation Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. In Bahia. Ornamental resources have been We discuss all information functions together. Darras & Brazil. both inherent birds and mammals). 2005. (2002) classify information 2004. Feintrenie & Levang. de Groot et al. 2003. 2006).g. 2006. 2010). stick insects. and the only six papers address issues of educational and scientific arowana. scientific and educational over-exploitation of species used for ornamental purposes values in nature. pets. Obidzinski et al. Sheil et al. 2015). Very few studies on this topic were in natural features with respective values. 1984. 2014). Burke & Resosu- sustainability. Sodhi et al. scorpions. Changes in hydrology due to the drainage plantations (see online Appendix S3). 2015). Phelps & Webb. Ptyas spp. Tscharntke.g.. Outside its native range. Nijman. Indonesia. 1997). 2006) due to hardly investigated.Ecosystem functions of oil palm versus forest 1559 (13) Ornamental resources (14) Information functions Ornamental resources are the variety of organisms in Information functions provide ‘opportunities for cognitive ecosystems with potential ornamental use (e. Indonesia. Several parts of the palm. and this is likely true for many other Unlike oil palm plantations. More research is needed to understand the different reasons (Sheil & Liswanti. 1999... inspiration and spiritual/historic information.e. Shine et al. despite these species being bred relevance. perception and valuation and contribute to maintenance of or for international trade (Ng & Tan. locations where oil palms are growing a common practice and an important part of Indonesian are considered sacred places (Gruca. rhino beetles. as most studies instead focus on the and educational information. nine papers treat recreation and tourism. Based on preliminary results of an ongoing bird in other ritual ceremonies and traditional medicines (Gruca market survey in Jambi city. i. Rist. However. e. 2009). 2013) and recreational potential (Bennett of ornamental resources. personal observations). Posa. and important ornamental fish species. personal integrated into local traditions and customs [e. the under-representation of information commercially (Ng & Tan. the conversion of forest to oil (e. and forest – the medicinal purposes. and there is evidence of 2014)..g. they plants. 2010. Despite decreasing has resulted in a local cultural landscape (Watkins. forests are valued highly for taxa as well. 2011). K. their viability. culture (Jepson & Ladle. curtus. Overall. (ii) recreation and tourism. In part. 2014). Cramb & Curry. Darras. Nash. 2015). Phelps & Webb. and long-term & Reynolds. This includes organisms collected for derive from an ecosystem. the majority of birds et al. breitensteini) Hector et al. as garden development’ (de Groot et al. 2006.. New. 1993). Keeping caged pet birds is In its native range. only two shared. Broadbent et al. in other words. human health.g.) and cobras 2012. and observations). palm cultivation leads to a large loss in information functions.

poorer water regulation in oil ester et al. tourism presents an alternative income source and depending on local conditions. and plantation management on With few exceptions. 2006. The Management practices vary greatly among plantations greatest impacts are on gas regulation.e. 2011). Finally. functions between forest and oil palm is particularly large for those people who traditionally depend on forests for their (2) Options for mitigation livelihoods (Manik et al. the aesthetic qualities and thus the basis for nature-based Third. 2008). . and oil palm not see any way to mitigate the loss of many information then replaces other cultivated land (i. forested groves that is of cultural significance to indigenous Evaluating ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations people’ (Manik. In order to maintain certain Not much research on information functions has ecosystem functions such as medicinal resources. Chow & Hock. loss of forested (d) Research gaps areas critical to the persistence of endemic forest-specialist species. 2010) likewise management. (3) Major research gaps IV. many functions are that graveyards can also exist in oil palm plantations (Colch. functions (Table 1). Studies should Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. ecosystem functioning compared to forests (Table 2). and and supply. First.. and establishing Some information functions. human well-being following land-use change and be reduced through improved plantation management (see land-use conflicts. e. are linked to certain species or places. these factors have largely been neglected. However. 2002) or transformation of to improving multiple ecosystem functions at once (see cultural ecosystem services (see. 1390). the destruction of the ‘ancestral grave which is located in soil retention. and droughts and greater losses of soil and nutrients. Consequently. 2005). regulation of extreme events. and waste treatment).g. 2013. impacts of oil palm cultivation and losses in ecosystem functions could be greatly reduced by stopping the conversion (c) Mitigation of forest (especially peat forest) to oil palm. Second..7 million USD) greatly. Generally. which vary a loss of 50% of tourism revenues (3. p. water regulation (Vermeulen & Goad. Table 2) and may vary Further. 1997. Land-use conflicts may also lead to the palm plantations can also lead to increased risks of floods depletion of information functions (historical and spiritual). and cleared areas would need to be restored. Fourth. 2013). 2012). This includes indirect forests are qualitatively different environments and we do conversion where cultivated land replaces forest. Assessment. and information functions.g. Bennett & Reynolds (1993) found heavily on plantation management practices. Many mitigation management practices contribute (following de Groot et al. simultaneously. Lambin & Meyfroidt.. Yusoff Consequently. interrelated – for instance. the cascade effect.1560 C. and habitat been conducted. these functions and the so-called shows a net increase in oil palm plantations. For example. 2011). oil palm plantations have reduced ecosystem functioning within and surrounding plantations.. The difference in the appreciation of information greatly increase while others greatly decrease (Table 2). DISCUSSION We identified important research gaps for each ecosystem function.. Dislich and others for establishment of oil palm plantations and the related Food and raw material production is the only function that depletion of resources. First. A case study conducted in Indonesia recorded at forest levels (water regulation. it may be possible to maintain some functions disappear. heterogeneous (e. However. there is a need for comparative studies to identify the influences of plantation age. information functions are and nursery functions. The loss of some forest-specific ecosystem functions cannot be mitigated (e. agricultural land (Härdter. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. Millennium Ecosystem Table 3). and a clearance for oil palm plantations or other land uses reduces gradual restoration of some functions as plantations mature. these areas would need to remain proportionally under-represented among all ecosystem uncleared. with greatest losses in functioning reveals that natural forests support a tourist industry while when land is cleared for plantation establishment. For example. Leahy & Halog. 2008). N2 O balance. Comte et al. Gibson et al. such as spiritual and historic new oil palm plantations only on degraded or existing information. and forest cover of distinct places could maintain some debate continues over what land is defined as acceptable information functions. nutrient regulation. some effects on ecosystem functions are when mangroves were cleared for ponds and oil palm. in some cases.g. oil palm plantations and for oil palm (Koh & Wilcove. functions resulting from forest conversion to oil palm. Reijnders & Huijbregts. instead of on information functions Table 3). 2011). habitat functions. With proper ‘locality of value’ (Nooteboom & de Jong. Research has focused on socio-economic The negative impacts of oil palm plantations may also benefits. some species abundances 2012). 2007. Indonesia (Potter.. but note is often not straightforward. prioritizing the conservation of those species & Hansen. ecosystem functions change throughout the life cycle of A closer look at the recreational potential of ecosystems an oil palm plantation. 2009). contrasting effects on ecosystem functions can be present 2012) and long-run green growth (Burke & Resosudarmo. local (1) Impacts of oil palm plantations environmental conditions. ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations depend tourism. as happened in Kalimantan. is therefore a means to nature conservation (Broadbent et al.

At the global scale. The findings of this review could be used (4) Considerations of scale: spatial. regulation depends strongly on fertilizer application and which certified 16% of global palm oil production as of mulching approach (Comte et al. habitat functions.. 2015) and/or from the International knowledge is missing about the processes occurring during Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC. 2009). Much of the temporal fluctuation in ecosystem functioning is Internationally. Production functions are also implementation will indeed proceed as planned is an open dynamic. new palms. At production. food and raw material services (e. and loss of information smallholders by 2020). 2012. Ecosystem functioning also shows strong temporal patterns In order partly to address the limited compliance with (Table 2). with the establishment of the plantations. capacity building is required to foster studies by local scientists. water regulation. At the regional lobbying by industry and non-governmental organizations scale (countries/islands). 2011. and hence ecosystem functions in oil palm the landscape scale (plantation and immediate surroundings). much March 2014. of extreme events. including carbon which excludes recently deforested land and peatlands (see fixation by oil palms and stabilization of soil with http://www. air quality. Lim et al. 2013). functions is the scale at which management is carried out. the difference in are based on a small number of observations in a small effect on ecosystem functions. Barano et al. which as oil palm ageing and during the replacement of old with of May 2014 only certified a small part of the market. reaching a peak at question. China and further research. and for of extreme events. Aside from additional Enforcing existing regulations would therefore be a positive waste production. GHG emissions. water regulation. and provide a basis for production functions are increased with a corresponding sustainable development policies in regions where oil palm is loss of climate regulation.g. grown. The landscape context with import standards.php?lang=en). 2015). while exporting oil palm products and cross-scale impacts of oil palm plantations thus warrant produced unsustainably to other markets (e. as well as better access to knowledge held by native and indigenous people. 2012).. although corporations drive larger-scale effects. 2012). 2015).g. The regional and local effects on pollination and may also influence oil palm production. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. United States Renewable Fuel Standard forest (e. nutrient from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO. . official governmental policy in microclimate.. with respect to biofuels.. For example. moderation Indonesia prohibits the clearing of land through burning.g. sustainability. 2015).ispo-org. The RSPO is an internationally recognized standard Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. starting at zero at establishment. pollination. medicinal and ornamental resources. The number of sequential plantings and their Lim et al. 2009). nutrient leaching. Harsono et al.. However. (RSPO) is a well-known international voluntary certification thus impeding evaluations of long-term functioning and scheme which has been in operation since 2004 (Nesadurai. Whether establishment of ground cover. An accurate assessment of ecosystem functions is essential to the establishment of comprehensive guidelines for protecting natural capital. 2011). Jambari et al. and then declining as the palms to producers and might cause particular challenges for reach heights that are difficult to harvest (Sheil et al. Most of the studies we reviewed However. the effects on local waste treatment are step forward. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil dependence on external inputs (nutrients) remains unknown. Finally. 2009). who are likely to have the most complete and (5) Policy considerations up-to-date knowledge (Sheil et al. for many ecosystem functions. soil erosion). moderation (mandatory for large plantations as of 2014.Ecosystem functions of oil palm versus forest 1561 explicitly consider differences between smallholder and A third scale important to oil palm effects on ecosystem large-scale plantations (Azhar et al. Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certification scheme air quality reduction.. oil palm growers can obtain certification mediated by plantation management. while soil fertility is changed... particularly as implementation is seen as costly intermediate plantation age. water regulation changes. and erosion prevention are decreased but laws are not always enforced (Sheil et al. and genetic.. For example. Government policies in importing countries unclear. air quality. boycotts) all influence oil palm moderation of extreme events functions are decreased. coarse-scale information on ecosystem functions. as some countries biological control are also unclear. This comprehensive assessment Oil palm plantations affect ecosystem functioning at different could complement on-going efforts to map ecosystem spatial scales. The ISPO requires that oil palm functions). Official governmental policies. European Union Renewable of species and habitat diversity associated with the loss of Energy Directive. smallholders who often do not have legal titles for their land. Foster et al. and large-scale plantations is unknown (e. plantations. Most decreases in ecosystem functioning occur with existing legislation.. biological control). Indonesia has now introduced the the loss of forest or drainage of peat (i. Lim.g. water regulation and and consumer choices (e. soil retention. due to a loss (e. India. if any. between smallholder number of oil palm plantations and thus give only limited. Local-scale changes may also 2. temporal.. 2010).g. and to assess potential changes in ecosystem functions associated management with oil palm plantations.. Biswas & Samyudia. Some recovery of ecosystem functioning occurs only be planted on lands for which official legal titles exist.g. Lim et al.e.id/index. certification schemes. soil loss. Educational and scientific have set import standards in response to public pressure information functions are lost at all scales.or. especially on climate regulation can partially by-pass such restrictions by exporting oil palm (droughts) and downstream regions within watersheds (flood products from sustainably managed plantations to countries risks.

C. ecosystem functions while maintaining or even increasing Nesadurai. Synergies for improving oil palm production and forest conservation in floodplain landscapes. T. functions simultaneously. comparing a wider range of effluent (POME) using membrane technology.org). Tzanopoulos. RSPO has a mixed record in ensuring environmental (6) By knowing how oil palm affects the degree and the sustainability and maintaining biodiversity in oil palm and direction of changes in ecosystem functions for each category. Evaluation of effectiveness of and ornamental resources. Corre. D. (1) This comprehensive review of ecosystem functions VII. (2011). Ahmad. Brandi et al. Ahmad. Tjoa. & Verchot. (2003). & Inubushi. M. (2007). J. (2014). H. the food and raw materials production function responses to conversion of lowland forests to oil palm and rubber plantations in of oil palm is higher compared to that of forest. 130–154. habitat provision. and standards. R. 308454). Southeast Asia. 55–79. 2012). S. depending on plant ages. and spatial scale. (2011). moderation of extreme events. L. N. Africa. O. information categories tend to decrease in oil palm Ahmad. & Aziz. In summary. M. more holistic sustainability assessment framework (Lim et al. habitat.. 1743–1754. functions. Fig. Sulaiman. (1992). Kouassi. a great need for more comprehensive and long-term studies.. J. Journal of Tropical functions in oil palm plantations: genetic resources. 2010. most Afiff. W. With respect to the gaps. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 13.P. the Rainforest Action Network. Effects of environmental variations on CO2 efflux from a tropical peatland in eastern Sumatra. industry..g. monoceros trapping with synthetic pheromone and palm material in Ivory Coast. Ecology and Society 16. ecosystems compared to forest as a reference land use. & Atkinson. E. 177–222. S. We highlight that there are critically important PLoS ONE 9. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. more needs to be done to strengthen the standard as well as strategies can be developed to reduce the degradation of improve compliance (e. N. and the World Wildlife Fund. could serve to correct for help with the literature database.. Alternatives 32. 2012. medicinal. Runaway fires. 2). public pressure on the oil palm socio-economic functioning.e. P. & Rochat. functions are decreased. Exploring the impact of climate and land highlight mitigation options that improve multiple ecosystem use changes on streamflow trends in a monsoon catchment. D. On the Allen.. 263–272. 2015). Dislich and others that focusses on transparency. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS public policy relating to oil palm plantations (Lim et al. enhanced-efficiency fertilizers as mitigation options for N2 O and NO emissions Regionally. A. We thank Elvira for deficiencies and further strengthen the existing standards. especially from non-government organizations (NGOs) such as Greenpeace. Yan.. 2013). and Alina Maj Kraus and their associated ecosystem services.. (2006). Dyes (4) Ecosystem functions in the regulation. smoke-haze pollution. environments and management practices. Comte et al.-P. 815–831. C.1562 C. (2004). e106391. policies. & Harding. & Broughton. Wetlands 26. 1837–1846. 2015). (2007). soil types. German – Indonesian research project CRC990 ‘EFForTS. e0133325.. Finally. including the ecosystem functions highlighted herein Frauke Thorade. M. and Adnan. J. and unnatural disasters in gas regulation.. ornamental resources.. However. Indonesia)’. Implications of biodiesel-induced land-use changes for CO2 emissions: case studies in tropical America. (3) We identify research gaps. We thank Renzoandre de la Peña Lavander. It appears that this has been largely due to poor Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical compliance with existing laws. among other aspects and is attracting an upstream hydrology and completely avoiding drainage. Journal of Environmental Science and Health. and habitat and nursery Journal of Chemical Ecology 32. long-term viability. & Veldkamp. Rafatullah. R. N’klo. A. Global Change Biology 16. V. representative of whole ecosystems.. and recreational potential. 73–97. & MacMillan. Xofis. CONCLUSIONS from the FP7 project EU BON (ref. Lisa Denmead and two reviewers for comments on the manuscript. N. medicinal resources. and topics.. International Journal of Climatology 31.. we reveal Agamuthu. Akiyama.. A. and and Pigments 75. D. Ghazali. Biological Reviews 92 (2017) 1539–1569 © 2016 The Authors. K. S. K. Allou. Loh. P. Abdul Rahim. M. P. a key option from an ecosystem function regulations. (2006). H. (2015). and information Abram. M. knowledge gaps with respect to these neglected but important Achten. X. & Lowe. F. 1–14. P. Effects of selective logging methods on (2) We provide novel reviews of the following ecosystem water yield and streamflow parameters in peninsular Malaysia. K. Very Oil palm biomass–Based adsorbents for the removal of water pollutants—A review.. 111–123. water regulation and erosion prevention from agricultural soils: meta-analysis. K. Oryctes (5) For gas and climate regulation. Nina Heymann. mitigation options. existing policies have been insufficient to prevent the loss of many ecosystem functions associated This study was financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the framework of the collaborative with the establishment of oil palm plantations (Table 2. Water recycling from palm oil mill with more variables measured. compliance with laws and functions. In this respect. L. 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