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Research Report

Does production of oil palm, soybean or jatropha change biodiversity and ecosystem functions in tropical forests?

Sini Savilaakso
Yves Laumonier
Manuel R. Guariguata
Robert Nasi
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Pages: 12
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-1)

    During the past decade there has been a growing interest in bioenergy, especially biofuels, driven by concerns about global climate change, growing energy demand and depleting fossil fuel reserves (Rajagopal and Zilberman 2007). Energy derived from plant material, such as sugarcane and oil palm, offers, at least in theory, a promising way to answer part of our energy demand without increasing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition, biofuel production can create additional income for the rural poor and advance economic development (Feintrenie et al. 2010).

    Nevertheless, biofuel-based opportunities do not come without concerns. Direct or indirect landuse change due...

  2. (pp. 1-2)

    The search aims to capture a comprehensive as possible sample of literature published in peer-reviewed journals and other relevant literature. The following literature databases will be searched: Biofuels Abstracts database by CABI, Web of Science, LAN TEEAL (Agriculture and natural resource management), and Directory of Open Access Journals.

    In addition, the following internet search engines will be used in order to maximize coverage: Google, Google Scholar and Scirus. Literature will also be searched on the websites of relevant organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change...

  3. (pp. 3-3)

    Spatial and temporal scales can affect study outcomes as can different environmental conditions of the study sites. Hence, potential effect modifiers and sources of heterogeneity are listed below. Furthermore, surrounding landscape can influence the direction and intensity of a change.

    Temporal and spatial scale


    Soil properties

    Surrounding landscape

    Original vegetation

    Hunting intensity





    Rotation time

    Plantation management (industrial vs. smallholders)

    Plantation size

    Plantation type...

  4. (pp. 3-3)

    First reviewer will check all hits for relevance based on the title and keywords. After the first selection, abstracts of the remaining articles will be read to further determine the suitability of the articles for the review. The selected documents will then be read in full to determine their suitability for the review. At the beginning of the literature selection phase, kappa analysis will be undertaken to assess reviewer bias in the selection phase and to assure that study inclusion criteria are used consistently....

  5. (pp. 3-3)

    An ideal study for this review would have sampled the area before and after the land conversion. The sampling would have been long enough to take into account seasonal variation and it would have been spatially extensive. However, as such studies are not common, we will include all studies that fulfill the inclusion criteria. To avoid misleading conclusions due to the variation in the general study design, the studies will be weighted according to the hierarchy of quality of evidence (Table 1). Studies that fall into the category VI will be excluded from the analysis....

  6. (pp. 3-4)

    For the analysis we will categorize the data using the following five categories: mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, invertebrates and plants. If we find enough studies on plants they will be classified according to plant functional groups.

    The estimates of species richness and abundance and their means and standard deviations will be extracted to a spreadsheet. Also, species similarity indices will be extracted. If information about the type of species that cause dissimilarities in the species composition, e.g. forest, edge or light-demanding species, is available, it will be extracted and categorized accordingly. In regard to ecosystem functions the change and...