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Title: Cross-boundary subsidy cascades from oil palm degrade distant tropical forests
Authors: Luskin, Matthew Scott
Brashares, Justin S.
Ickes, Kalan
Sun, I-Fang
Fletcher, Christine
Wright, S. Joseph
Potts, Matthew D.
Keywords: DRNTU::Science::Geology
Tropical Forests
Wild Boars
Issue Date: 2017
Source: Luskin, M. S., Brashares, J. S., Ickes, K., Sun, I.-F., Fletcher, C., Wright, S. J., & Potts, M. D. (2017). Cross-boundary subsidy cascades from oil palm degrade distant tropical forests. Nature Communications, 8(1), 2231-. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01920-7
Series/Report no.: Nature Communications
Abstract: Native species that forage in farmland may increase their local abundances thereby affecting adjacent ecosystems within their landscape. We used two decades of ecological data from a protected primary rainforest in Malaysia to illutrate how subsidies from neighboring oil palm plantations triggered powerful secondary ‘cascading’ effects on natural habitats located >1.3 km away. We found (i) oil palm fruit drove 100-fold increases in crop-raiding native wild boar (Sus scrofa), (ii) wild boar used thousands of understory plants to construct birthing nests in the pristine forest interior, and (iii) nest building caused a 62% decline in forest tree sapling density over the 24-year study period. The long-term, landscape-scale indirect effects from agriculture suggest its full ecological footprint may be larger in extent than is currently recognized. Cross-boundary subsidy cascades may be widespread in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems and present significant conservation challenges.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01920-7
Schools: Asian School of the Environment 
Rights: © 2017 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:ASE Journal Articles

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