Agroforestry with oil palm

Conversion of tropical forests to oil palm monocultures leads to dramatic losses of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Agroforestry systems with multiple native tree species might have a positive ecological impact in oil palm-dominated landscapes.

Together with Prof. Holger Kreft and Prof. Dirk Hölscher (Göttingen University), my aim is to address the effects of tree plantings in oil palm plantations on biodiversity, ecosystem functions and resilience, and to analyze socioeconomic and ecological trade-offs.

To achieve this goal, I coordinate and integrate inter-disciplinary research activities in the Biodiversity Enrichment Experiment in Oil Palm Plantations (EEForTS-BEE).

In addition, I analyze in detail the effect of tree diversity on vegetation structure and productivity at multiple spatial scales using terrestrial laser scanner (Fig. 1) and traditional inventories (Fig. 2).

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Fig.1: View from a terrestrial laser scanner 3 years after estiblishement of the experiment. (Source: Zemp et al. unpublished data, 2016)
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Fig. 2: Measuring tree growth. February 2018.

 

Funding (2016 – 2019):

 

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