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Heterogeneity of tree diversity and carbon stocks in Amazonian oil palm landscapes

de Almeida, Arlete S and Vieira, Ima CG and Moura, Nárgila and Lees, Alexander C (2020) Heterogeneity of tree diversity and carbon stocks in Amazonian oil palm landscapes. Plant Ecology & Diversity. pp. 1-9. ISSN 1755-0874

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Abstract

ABSTRACT Background: Quantitative effects of large-scale oil palm expansion in the Neotropics on biodiversity and carbon stocks are still poorly documented. Aims: We evaluated differences in tree species composition and richness, and above-ground carbon stocks among dominant land cover types in Pará state, Brazil. Methods: We quantified tree species composition and richness and above-ground carbon stock in stands in remnant primary rain forest, young secondary forest, oil palm plantation and pastures. Results: We sampled 5,696 trees with a DBH≥2 cm, of 413 species in 68 families, of which 381 species were recorded in primary forest fragments. We found significant differences in species richness and carbon stock among the four land cover classes. Carbon stocks in remnant primary forest were typically over 190 Mg ha −1 , while those in other land cover types were typically less than 60 Mg ha −1 . Conclusion: Oil palm plantations have a species-poor tree community given active manage- ment; old plantations have a standing carbon stock which is comparable to that of secondary forest and far greater than that of pastures. Private forest reserves within oil palm company holdings play an important role in preserving primary forest tree diversity in human-modified landscapes in Amazonia.

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