The study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, found that streams draining oil palm plantations can be up to 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer and have up to 550 times higher sediment concentrations than streams draining intact forests.
Kimberly Carlson, an IonE postdoctoral scholar and lead author on the study, says the research yielded some unexpected findings. “First, oil palm plantation land use seems to have a greater effect on streams than community agroforest or low-impact logging.” Researchers were also surprised to discover that a stream in a mature, closed-canopy oil palm plantation was almost as hot as, and yielded even more sediment than, a stream draining a watershed recently cleared for oil palm.
Carlson, K. M., L. M. Curran, A. G. Ponette-González, D. Ratnasari, Ruspita, N. Lisnawati, Y. Purwanto, K. A. Brauman, and P. A. Raymond (2014), Influence of watershed-climate interactions on stream temperature, sediment yield, and metabolism along a land use intensity gradient in Indonesian Borneo, J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 119, doi:10.1002/