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Maintaining soil health in oil palm cultivation

Code: 9781838794866
Bernard Dubos and Didier Snoeck, CIRAD, France

Chapter synopsis: Many existing oil palm plantations were set up after clearing equatorial and tropical rainforests. In tropical forests, the topsoil is where the fertility lies due to its physico-chemical properties, developed through an accumulation of organic matter and intense biological activity. In the first four years after felling the properties of this topsoil change rapidly, but it has been reported that the topsoil then evolves towards a new, stable chemical state. A central challenge is therefore to ensure that this new stable state possesses the properties that enable high yields. In this chapter, we consider the key issues and challenges involved in maintaining soil health. We then review the effects of management practices in oil palm plantation on soil health, and consider the potential benefits of biomass recycling.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2017.0018.32
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Key issues and challenges 3 Management practices and soil health in oil palm plantations 4 Optimizing biomass recycling: the promising way to increase yields and sustainability 5 Future trends in research 6 Where to look for further information 7 References

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