Increased pollinator habitat enhances cacao fruit set and predator conservation

  • Published source details Forbes S.J. & Northfield T.D. (2017) Increased pollinator habitat enhances cacao fruit set and predator conservation. Ecological Applications, 27, 887-899.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Retain or increase leaf litter or other types of mulch

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Retain or increase leaf litter or other types of mulch

    A randomized controlled study in 2014–2015 in a monoculture cacao farm in North Queensland, Australia (2) found that adding cacao fruit husks underneath cacao trees increased population densities of skinks. Plots of cacao trees with cacao fruit husks had greater densities of skinks (1.1–3.3 skinks/plot) compared to plots without fruit husks (0.3–0.8 skinks/plot). The increased densities of skinks did not reduce the amount of fruit on trees (see original paper for details). The effect of adding cacao fruit husks to the base of trees was monitored on a 1.8 ha monoculture cacao farm. Fourteen plots (15 m apart) were randomly selected, each comprising two adjacent rows of four consecutive flower-bearing trees. In November 2014, seven of the plots had 280 kg of fresh cacao fruit husks left over from processing added underneath all trees (35 kg/tree). A further 15kg/tree of husks were added in December 2014 and January 2015. Visual surveys for skinks were conducted in the mornings every two weeks from December 2014–March 2015.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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