Ecological impacts of biodiversity enrichment in oil palm plantations

Miriam focuses on the establishment of the biodiversity enrichment experiment and its impacts on bird and arthropod diversity. She and Anne Gérard will set up the experiment by creating “tree islands” within an oil palm plantation, which implies the planting of trees with varying species diversities and compositions. To evaluate the ecological success of gap enrichment planting, Miriam will carry out a background survey on the oil palm plantation including birds and invertebrate species before the trees are planted. This faunal composition of the oil palm plantation then represents the baseline against which the data from the enrichment gaps will be compared during the 11 years following the establishment of the plots.

The effect of biodiversity enrichment plots on birds will be assessed by point counts. Invertebrate communities are sampled by fogging of individual trees. Both, the bird and the invertebrate sampling will be carried out once a year.