Research Theme-3

Research Theme-3 (Output-3)

Development of sustainable land management by reforestation of palm plantations

Evaluate the following environmental impacts caused by abandonment of oil palm residues such as logged OPT in the plantation.

  1. Outbreak of soil pests that cause poor growth and death of oil palm, and
  2. Greenhouse gas generation due to decomposition of oil palm residue

On that basis, the purpose is to form farm managers (soil pests) and international incentives (climate change) toward the social implementation of the OPT utilization technology developed in Research Theme-1and 2.

Research Contents

At the oil palm plantation, the oil palm is cut down and reforested every 25 years due to the decrease in the fruit production. However, the logged OPT may be left in the plantation for reasons such as the financial burden of carrying it out, which may cause global environmental issue.

For example, when palm-derived organic matter is decomposed by soil microorganisms, a huge amount of CO2 is temporarily released into the atmosphere, but the released CO2 is absorbed by newly planted palm trees, then the impact on climate change will be approximately neutral.

Impact of land use on N2O generation potential based on microbial community function assessment

However, when foraged by termites, it is released into the atmosphere as CH4, which has a greenhouse effect 25 times that of CO2, due to the decomposition of cellulose by intestinal symbiotic bacteria. In addition, poor growth of palm trees due to the spread of decomposer soil pests can cause excessive fertilization and can be a source of N2O, which has a greenhouse effect about 300 times that of CO2.

Therefore, identification of decomposers of palm-derived organic matter including soil pests, evaluation of their dynamics, and integrated observation of greenhouse gas emissions including CH4 and N2O are important indicators, in the realization of sustainable oil palm plantation management that does not contribute to climate change.