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Department of Zoology

Oil palm plantation with fruit cut down and on the floor

Megan Popkin and other members of the Insect Ecology Group have just published a new systematic map investigating the level of research on within-plantation management practices in oil palm.

The article particularly highlights which practices have been researched and/or experimentally tested, as well as research gaps. Each study is linked to environmental sustainability criteria established by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a global non-profit that develops social and environmental criteria for plantations, directly linking outcomes to guidance. Key findings are that most studies were conducted in Southeast Asia, with fewer studies conducted in South America or Africa, and studies researching biodiversity were the most common, whereas comparatively few studies considered replanting and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Most primary studies were observational, with experimental studies being less common, especially in biodiversity research.

Popkin M, Reiss-Woolever VJ, Turner EC, Luke SH (2022) A systematic map of within-plantation oil palm management practices reveals a rapidly growing but patchy evidence base. PLOS Sustain Transform 1(7): e0000023.