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Recent expansion of oil palm plantations into carbon-rich forests

Yidi Xu, Le Yu (), Philippe Ciais, Wei Li (), Maurizio Santoro, Hui Yang and Peng Gong
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Yidi Xu: Tsinghua University
Le Yu: Tsinghua University
Philippe Ciais: Universite Paris-Saclay
Wei Li: Tsinghua University
Maurizio Santoro: Gamma Remote Sensing
Hui Yang: Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
Peng Gong: The University of Hong Kong

Nature Sustainability, 2022, vol. 5, issue 7, 574-577

Abstract: Abstract Deforestation arising from oil palm expansion in the tropics poses threats to forest ecosystem services. Using high-resolution satellite maps, we show that oil palm expansion into forests in Indonesia and Malaysia during 2001–2015 caused a forest biomass loss of 50.2 ± 21.9 TgC yr−1. Large-scale plantations dominated the expansion area. But the encroachment of oil palm plantations from low to high biomass density forests is particularly obvious for small-scale plantations after 2007. This work provides new data for targeting policies to restrict oil palm encroachment into carbon-rich regions, including into protected areas.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1038/s41893-022-00872-1

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