Cultivation of crops affects the environment via flows of energy and materials. Impacts are felt in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, surrounding terrestrial ecosystems and the field itself. Models are useful tools for improving our understanding of the processes and predicting how they might be affected by changes in management. Current models range from simple indicators of risk or impact, based on empirical relationships, to dynamic process-based models. Increasingly complex and comprehensive models with increasing spatial and temporal resolution and extent are being developed, mostly by coupling diverse sub-models. This chapter reviews the range of models developed for oil palm systems, and discusses how other existing models might be adapted for oil palm.
Table of contents
2 Characteristics of models and the system
3 Integrated environmental impact modelling approaches
4 Modelling impacts of cultivation on components of the environment
5 Modelling causal processes
6 Conclusions and research directions
7 Where to look for further information