A native from western Africa, oil palm is one of the most rapidly expanding and cheap tropical plant species. It produces more oil per unit area than any other vegetable oil crop. Widespread planting has been at the expense of other tropical vegetation, notably including species-rich tropical rain forests. Even though planted oil palm provides habitat to some species, species diversity in oil palm is much lower than in most tropical rain forest and even timber concessions and timber plantations. Although oil-palm plantations have a negative impact on local biodiversity, their ultimate global impact depends on considering the impacts of alternative oil crops with greater land requirements.
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Levin, S.A. (ed.). 2013. Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. 600-612
Elsevier Science Publishers