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Assessing the Socioecological Perspectives of Eucalyptus Cultivation and Plantation Expansion in Laos

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1104243, PP. 1-15

Subject Areas: Conservation Biology, Biodiversity, Ecosystem Science, Ecology, Agricultural Science, Environmental Sciences

Keywords: Eucalyptus Cultivation, Forest Cover Loss, Laos Shifting Cultivation, Plantation Expansion

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Abstract

In Laos, the cultivation of fast growing trees as eucalypts has been promoted due to a rapid decline in natural forest cover. However, this expansion of fast growing trees might not end in a win-win situation for both humans and the environment. This paper examines the social and ecological potentials of Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.) cultivation and the resultant environmental consequences. To achieve this, we carried out a comprehensive survey of published scientific literature obtained through Web of Science, Researchgate, Mendeley, and Google Scholar. We found that eucalyptus is a fast-growing source of wood and produces oils used in fuels, fragrances, and insecticides. Despite being of this high commercial value to rural farmers and large industries, eucalyptus harms watersheds and if not properly managed, destroys ecosystems through its allelopathic and water absorption tendencies. Nevertheless, with adequate and effective management and proper sustainable planning or involvement of rural farmers in the decision making process, eucalyptus cultivation would have a very positive social and ecological impact.

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Chanthalath, X. , Yong, L. , Beckline, M. and Inthilath, S. (2017). Assessing the Socioecological Perspectives of Eucalyptus Cultivation and Plantation Expansion in Laos. Open Access Library Journal, 4, e4243. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1104243.

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