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The impact of management to restore river margins in tropical agricultural landscapes on ant communities

The impact of management to restore river margins in tropical agricultural landscapes on ant communities

Supervisors: Dr Edgar Turner

Project summary:

This project will take advantage of a newly-established research programme (the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function in Tropical Agriculture (BEFTA) Programme), based in Riau, Indonesia, that experimentally investigates different management options to restore river margins in tropical agricultural landscapes. Working closely with industry partners, Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology Research Institute (SMARTRI), BEFTA is currently establishing large-scale restoration plots, to experimentally compare assisted river margin replanting with forest trees and natural regeneration in established oil palm plantations. This project will investigate the effect of restoration on ant communities and their influence on pest control and seedling regeneration in river margins.

Results of this work will be of real relevance for informing restoration of riparian margins in oil palm ecosystems, informing management guidelines, such as the Principles and Criteria of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). 

 

What the student will be doing:

Fieldwork will involve targeted ant surveys and measurements of pest control, herbivory levels, and palm oil yield at established sampling sites in restored and naturally-regenerating river margins and in sites located at different distances into the surrounding plantation. In the lab ants will be identified to genus and species level with the support of the Insect Ecology
Group team

 

References:

Kurz DJ, Turner EC, Anak Agung Ketut Aryawan, Barkley HC, Caliman J-P, Konopik O, Sudharto Ps & Foster WA (2016). Replanting reduces frog diversity in oil palm. Biotropica. 48, 483-490.

FosterWA, Snaddon JL, Dwi Advento A, Anak Agung Ketut Aryawan, BarclayH, Caliman J-P, Kurniawan C,  Kurz DJ, Mann D, Mohd Naim, Purnomo D, Pujianto, T. Dzulfikar S. Rambe, Slade EM,  Soeprapto, Suhardi, Sudharto Ps, Ribka Sionita Tarigan,  Resti Wahyuningsih, Rudi Harto Widodo and Turner EC (2014) The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function in Tropical Agriculture (BEFTA) Project. The Planter, Kuala Lumpur, 90, 581-591.  An industry publication, publicizing details of the experiment to the oil palm sector.