The Rubber Juggernaut

Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117570.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 06/2009; 324(5930):1024-5. DOI: 10.1126/science.1173833
Source: PubMed
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    • "For example, the food production system of the United States already uses about 50 % of the total land area (Pimentel and Pimentel, 2003). Evidencing this limitation, extensive forest areas continue to be cleared for agriculture, as is currently happening in Asia for rubber plantations (Ziegler et al., 2009). Moreover, due to sea-level rise, many highly productive coastal areas will suffer saline intrusion into aquifers and will eventually be flooded (Ivins, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Should farmed seaweeds become a more important part of our diets and thereby contribute to global food supplies more than they do now? There are reasons to think that the answer to this question is yes, and this chapter explains why. However, first there is a need for perspective on the nature and scale of the challenge involved.
    Seaweed Sustainability 1st Edition: Food and Non Food Applications, 1st edited by B.K. Tiwari and D.J., 09/2015: chapter 11. Seaweed and food security: pages 289-313; Elsevier., ISBN: 978-0-12-418697-2
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    • "However, this beneficial impact of traditional land use is only possible when the undisturbed old-growth forests exist as seed source for succession. This system is now in danger of collapsing due to increasing human population levels, more intense forest use and especially the large scale clearance of forest for rubber monoculture in our research area (Guo et al., 2002; Zhu et al., 2004; Li et al., 2006; Fu et al., 2009; Qiu, 2009; Ziegler et al., 2010). For biodiversity conservation purposes, we like to stress the urgent need for research in looking for effective forest use strategies that intermix with protected secondary, old-growth forests, and forests managed for local people use so that an optimal balance between economic development and biodiversity conservation can be reached. "
    Dataset: BiolCon2011
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    • "Xishuangbanna (Li et al. 2007; Ziegler et al. 2009). Rubber plantations are a very poor habitat for orchids, and only 3 terrestrial species, Zeuxine nervosa, Liparis barbata, and Crepidium purpureum, were occasionally found in them. "
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    ABSTRACT: Xishuangbanna is on the northern margins of tropical Asia in southwestern China and has the largest area of tropical forest remaining in the country. It is in the Indo-Burma hotspot and contains 16% of China's vascular flora in <0.2% of the country's total area (19,690 km(2) ). Rapid expansion of monoculture crops in the last 20 years, particularly rubber, threatens this region's exceptional biodiversity. To understand the effects of land-use change and collection on orchid species diversity and determine protection priorities, we conducted systematic field surveys, observed markets, interviewed orchid collectors, and then determined the conservation status of all orchids. We identified 426 orchid species in 115 genera in Xishuangbanna: 31% of all orchid species that occur in China. Species richness was highest at 1000-1200 m elevation. Three orchid species were assessed as possibly extinct in the wild, 15 as critically endangered, 82 as endangered, 124 as vulnerable, 186 as least concern, and 16 as data deficient. Declines over 20 years in harvested species suggested over-collection was the major threat, and utility value (i.e., medicinal or ornamental value) was significantly related to endangerment. Expansion of rubber tree plantations was less of a threat to orchids than to other taxa because only 75 orchid species (17.6%) occurred below the 1000-m-elevation ceiling for rubber cultivation, and most of these (46) occurred in nature reserves. However, climate change is projected to lift this ceiling to around 1300 m by 2050, and the limited area at higher elevations reduces the potential for upslope range expansion. The Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden is committed to achieving zero plant extinctions in Xishuangbanna, and orchids are a high priority. Appropriate in and ex situ conservation strategies, including new protected areas and seed banking, have been developed for every threatened orchid species and are being implemented.
    Conservation Biology 08/2015; DOI:10.1111/cobi.12584 · 4.17 Impact Factor
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