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The contribution of rubber plantations towards a better environment


, : The contribution of rubber plantations towards a better environment. Bulletin of the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka 33: 45-54

The conditions in Hevea plantations are compared with those in natural forests, with reference to the following aspects: conservation of soil fertility and productivity (such as reduction of soil erosion by use of drains, role of cover crops in preserving fertility, use of mulches); biomass and nutrient bank of the Hevea ecosystem (including the rapid attainment of maximum biomass potential by Hevea compared with other forest trees and the high nutrient storage levels in Hevea stands); organic matter and nutrient recycling via litter; soil characteristics under rubber (which are often improved after the establishment of Hevea); the nutritionally self-sustaining Hevea ecosystem; and rubber processing and by-products (treatment of effluent, use of rubber wood). It is concluded that the Hevea plantation can be considered as an alternative to an agroforestry system which will be sustainable, renewable and environmentally acceptable.

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