Reduced ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations
Large areas of tropical lowland forests have been replaced by oil palm plantations, with major impact on environment and people. An interdisciplinary team of scientists has now performed a complete and multidisciplinary assessment of all ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations as compared to lowland forests. They found that in oil palm plantations, eleven out of 14 ecosystem functions showed a net decrease, some with an irreversible global impact. The results also reveal mitigation options that can reduce damage and benefit multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously.