Is energy cropping in Europe compatible with biodiversity? Opportunities and threats to biodiversity from land-based production of biomass for bioenergy purposes

B Pedroli, B Elbersen, P Frederiksen, U Grandin, R Heikkila, P Henning Krogh, Z Izakovicová, A Johansen, Linda Meiresonne, J Spijker

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    Based on literature and six country studies (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands,
    Sweden, Slovakia) this paper discusses the compatibility of the EU 2020 targets for
    renewable energy with conservation of biodiversity.
    We conclude that increased demand for biomass for bioenergy purposes may lead to
    a continued conversion of valuable habitats into productive lands and to intensification,
    which both have negative effects on biodiversity. On the other hand, increased demand for
    biomass also provides opportunities for biodiversity, both within existing productive lands
    and in abandoned or degraded lands. Perennial crops may lead to increased diversity in
    crop patterns, lower input uses, and higher landscape structural diversity which may all
    have positive effects on biodiversity.
    In production forest opportunities exist to harvest primary wood residues. Removal of
    these forest residues under strict sustainability conditions may become economically
    attractive with increased biomass demand.
    An additional biomass potential is represented by recreation areas, road-side verges,
    semi-natural and natural areas and lands which have no other use because they have been
    abandoned, polluted or degraded.
    Whether effects of cropping of biomass and/or removal of biomass has positive or
    negative impact on biodiversity depends strongly on specific regional circumstances, the
    type of land and land use shifts involved and the associated management practices in
    general. However, it is clear that in the six countries studied certain types of biomass crops
    are likely to be more sustainable than others.
    TaalEngels
    TijdschriftBiomass and bioenergy
    Volume55
    Pagina's (van-tot)73–86
    Aantal pagina's14
    ISSN0961-9534
    DOI's
    StatusGepubliceerd - 2013

    Thematische lijst

    • Ecosysteemdiensten (=ESD)

    EWI Biomedische wetenschappen

    • B006-landbouwkunde

    Geografische lijst

    • Europa

    Vrije trefwoorden

    • Biomass, biodiversity, bioenergy, EU, conversion

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