To what extent do primary literature and global biodiversity indicators agree on the impacts of oil palm production globally?
Researcher name: Niamh Gray
Period: (start and end dates): TT22 to TT23
Title of MBiol research: To what extent do primary literature and global biodiversity indicators agree on the impacts of oil palm production globally?
MBiol Overview: To solve the biodiversity crisis, governments, businesses, and organisations are setting quantified targets of biodiversity net gain. This approach requires comprehensive spatial understanding of the drivers of biodiversity decline, and what we can proactively do to mitigate this and further restore nature, using models. But there is less evidence around how accurately such models estimate biodiversity decline. Using oil palm cultivation as a case study system, I will carry out a comprehensive review of on-the-ground ecological studies and also construct more global models of oil palm cultivation impacts and compare how much agreement there is both within and between these two broad methods of impact quantification.
Outline of research:
Three stages are as follows:
(1) locate and compare suitable studies on the biodiversity impact of oil palm;
(2) construct models to estimate impacts of production using biodiversity indicators;
(3) compare primary literature and models where possible to assess if they agree on the direction and magnitude of biodiversity impacts
Summary of planned activities: literature review, biodiversity modelling
(Planned) Project outputs: A better understanding of how accurately biodiversity indicators predict impacts so as to better inform choices of indicators when setting targets of BNG/ sustainable agricultural production, for example.