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Global Change Biology. Bioenergy

Alejandra Navarro, Miguel Portillo-Estrada, Nicola Arriga, Stefan P P Vanbeveren, Reinhart Ceulemans
The productivity of short-rotation coppice (SRC) plantations with poplar ( Populus spp.) strongly depends on soil water availability, which limits the future development of its cultivation, and makes the study of the transpirational water loss particularly timely under the ongoing climate change (more frequent drought and floods). This study assesses the transpiration at different scales (leaf, tree and stand) of four poplar genotypes belonging to different species and from a different genetic background grown under an SRC regime...
August 2018: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Miguel Portillo-Estrada, Terenzio Zenone, Nicola Arriga, Reinhart Ceulemans
Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are major precursors of both ozone and secondary organic aerosols (SOA) in the troposphere and represent a non-negligible portion of the carbon fixed by primary producers, but long-term ecosystem-scale measurements of their exchanges with the atmosphere are lacking. In this study, the fluxes of 46 ions corresponding to 36 BVOCs were continuously monitored along with the exchanges of mass (carbon dioxide and water vapor) and energy (sensible and latent heat) for an entire year in a poplar ( Populus ) short-rotation crop (SRC), using the eddy covariance methodology...
June 2018: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Jeanette Whitaker, John L Field, Carl J Bernacchi, Carlos E P Cerri, Reinhart Ceulemans, Christian A Davies, Evan H DeLucia, Iain S Donnison, Jon P McCalmont, Keith Paustian, Rebecca L Rowe, Pete Smith, Patricia Thornley, Niall P McNamara
Perennial bioenergy crops have significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to climate change mitigation by substituting for fossil fuels; yet delivering significant GHG savings will require substantial land-use change, globally. Over the last decade, research has delivered improved understanding of the environmental benefits and risks of this transition to perennial bioenergy crops, addressing concerns that the impacts of land conversion to perennial bioenergy crops could result in increased rather than decreased GHG emissions...
March 2018: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Jonathan M Carruthers, Samantha M Cook, Geraldine A Wright, Juliet L Osborne, Suzanne J Clark, Jennifer L Swain, Alison J Haughton
Oilseed rape (OSR; Brassica napus L.) is a major crop in temperate regions and provides an important source of nutrition to many of the yield-enhancing insect flower visitors that consume floral nectar. The manipulation of mechanisms that control various crop plant traits for the benefit of pollinators has been suggested in the bid to increase food security, but little is known about inherent floral trait expression in contemporary OSR varieties or the breeding systems used in OSR breeding programmes. We studied a range of floral traits in glasshouse-grown, certified conventional varieties of winter OSR to test for variation among and within breeding systems...
August 2017: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Anne L Maddison, Anyela Camargo-Rodriguez, Ian M Scott, Charlotte M Jones, Dafydd M O Elias, Sarah Hawkins, Alice Massey, John Clifton-Brown, Niall P McNamara, Iain S Donnison, Sarah J Purdy
In perennial energy crop breeding programmes, it can take several years before a mature yield is reached when potential new varieties can be scored. Modern plant breeding technologies have focussed on molecular markers, but for many crop species, this technology is unavailable. Therefore, prematurity predictors of harvestable yield would accelerate the release of new varieties. Metabolic biomarkers are routinely used in medicine, but they have been largely overlooked as predictive tools in plant science. We aimed to identify biomarkers of productivity in the bioenergy crop, Miscanthus, that could be used prognostically to predict future yields...
July 2017: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Joanna A Horemans, Hanne Van Gaelen, Dirk Raes, Terenzio Zenone, Reinhart Ceulemans
We calibrated and evaluated the agricultural model AquaCrop for the simulation of water use and yield of a short-rotation coppice (SRC) plantation with poplar (Populus) in East Flanders (Belgium) during the second and the third rotation (first 2 years only). Differences in crop development and growth during the course of the rotations were taken into account during the model calibration. Overall, the AquaCrop model showed good performance for the daily simulation of soil water content (R(2) of 0.57-0.85), of green canopy cover (R(2) > 0...
June 2017: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Sarah J Purdy, Anne L Maddison, Christopher P Nunn, Ana Winters, Emma Timms-Taravella, Charlotte M Jones, John C Clifton-Brown, Iain S Donnison, Joe A Gallagher
Fodder maize is the most commonly used crop for biogas production owing to its high yields, high concentrations of starch and good digestibility. However, environmental concerns and possible future conflict with land for food production may limit its long-term use. The bioenergy grass, Miscanthus , is a high-yielding perennial that can grow on marginal land and, with 'greener' environmental credentials, may offer an alternative. To compete with maize, the concentration of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) and digestibility may need to be improved...
June 2017: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Elaine Jensen, Paul Robson, Kerrie Farrar, Sian Thomas Jones, John Clifton-Brown, Roger Payne, Iain Donnison
In commercially grown Miscanthus  ×  giganteus , despite imposing a yield penalty, postwinter harvests improve quality criteria for thermal conversion and crop sustainability through remobilization of nutrients to the underground rhizome. We examined 16 Miscanthus genotypes with different flowering and senescence times for variation in N, P, K, moisture, ash, Cl and Si contents, hypothesizing that early flowering and senescence could result in improved biomass quality and/or enable an earlier harvest of biomass (in autumn at peak yield)...
May 2017: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Carmenza Robledo-Abad, Hans-Jörg Althaus, Göran Berndes, Simon Bolwig, Esteve Corbera, Felix Creutzig, John Garcia-Ulloa, Anna Geddes, Jay S Gregg, Helmut Haberl, Susanne Hanger, Richard J Harper, Carol Hunsberger, Rasmus K Larsen, Christian Lauk, Stefan Leitner, Johan Lilliestam, Hermann Lotze-Campen, Bart Muys, Maria Nordborg, Maria Ölund, Boris Orlowsky, Alexander Popp, Joana Portugal-Pereira, Jürgen Reinhard, Lena Scheiffle, Pete Smith
The possibility of using bioenergy as a climate change mitigation measure has sparked a discussion of whether and how bioenergy production contributes to sustainable development. We undertook a systematic review of the scientific literature to illuminate this relationship and found a limited scientific basis for policymaking. Our results indicate that knowledge on the sustainable development impacts of bioenergy production is concentrated in a few well-studied countries, focuses on environmental and economic impacts, and mostly relates to dedicated agricultural biomass plantations...
March 2017: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Jon P McCalmont, Astley Hastings, Niall P McNamara, Goetz M Richter, Paul Robson, Iain S Donnison, John Clifton-Brown
Planting the perennial biomass crop Miscanthus in the UK could offset 2-13 Mt oil eq. yr-1 , contributing up to 10% of current energy use. Policymakers need assurance that upscaling Miscanthus production can be performed sustainably without negatively impacting essential food production or the wider environment. This study reviews a large body of Miscanthus relevant literature into concise summary statements. Perennial Miscanthus has energy output/input ratios 10 times higher (47.3 ± 2.2) than annual crops used for energy (4...
March 2017: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Christopher Lyndon Davey, Laurence Edmund Jones, Michael Squance, Sarah Jane Purdy, Anne Louise Maddison, Jennifer Cunniff, Iain Donnison, John Clifton-Brown
Miscanthus is a rhizomatous C4 grass of great interest as a biofuel crop because it has the potential to produce high yields over a wide geographical area with low agricultural inputs on marginal land less suitable for food production. At the moment, a clonal interspecific hybrid Miscanthus × giganteus is the most widely cultivated and studied in Europe and the United States, but breeding programmes are developing newer more productive varieties. Here, we quantified the physiological processes relating to whole season yield in a replicated plot trial in Wales, UK...
February 2017: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Gonzalo Berhongaray, Melanie S Verlinden, Laura S Broeckx, Ivan A Janssens, Reinhart Ceulemans
Uncertainty in soil carbon (C) fluxes across different land-use transitions is an issue that needs to be addressed for the further deployment of perennial bioenergy crops. A large-scale short-rotation coppice (SRC) site with poplar (Populus) and willow (Salix) was established to examine the land-use transitions of arable and pasture to bioenergy. Soil C pools, output fluxes of soil CO 2, CH 4, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and volatile organic compounds, as well as input fluxes from litter fall and from roots, were measured over a 4-year period, along with environmental parameters...
February 2017: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Jasper Bloemen, Régis Fichot, Joanna A Horemans, Laura S Broeckx, Melanie S Verlinden, Terenzio Zenone, Reinhart Ceulemans
Short-rotation coppice (SRC) has great potential for supplying biomass-based heat and energy, but little is known about SRC's ecological footprint, particularly its impact on the water cycle. To this end, we quantified the water use of a commercial scale poplar (Populus) SRC plantation in East Flanders (Belgium) at tree and stand level, focusing primarily on the transpiration component. First, we used the AquaCrop model and eddy covariance flux data to analyse the different components of the stand-level water balance for one entire growing season...
February 2017: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Alison J Haughton, David A Bohan, Suzanne J Clark, Mark D Mallott, Victoria Mallott, Rufus Sage, Angela Karp
Suggestions that novel, non-food, dedicated biomass crops used to produce bioenergy may provide opportunities to diversify and reinstate biodiversity in intensively managed farmland have not yet been fully tested at the landscape scale. Using two of the largest, currently available landscape-scale biodiversity data sets from arable and biomass bioenergy crops, we take a taxonomic and functional trait approach to quantify and contrast the consequences for biodiversity indicators of adopting dedicated biomass crops on land previously cultivated under annual, rotational arable cropping...
November 2016: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Geoffrey P Morris, Zhenbin Hu, Paul P Grabowski, Justin O Borevitz, Marie-Anne de Graaff, R Michael Miller, Julie D Jastrow
The perennial grass species that are being developed as biomass feedstock crops harbor extensive genotypic diversity, but the effects of this diversity on biomass production are not well understood. We investigated the effects of genotypic diversity in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) on perennial biomass cropping systems in two experiments conducted over 2008-2014 at a 5.4-ha fertile field site in northeastern Illinois, USA. We varied levels of switchgrass and big bluestem genotypic diversity using various local and nonlocal cultivars - under low or high species diversity, with or without nitrogen inputs - and quantified establishment, biomass yield, and biomass composition...
September 2016: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Geoffrey P Hammond, Bo Li
Environmental or 'ecological' footprints have been widely used in recent years as indicators of resource consumption and waste absorption presented in terms of biologically productive land area [in global hectares (gha)] required per capita with prevailing technology. In contrast, 'carbon footprints' are the amount of carbon (or carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions for such activities in units of mass or weight (like kilograms per functional unit), but can be translated into a component of the environmental footprint (on a gha basis)...
September 2016: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Henrik R Hallingbäck, Johan Fogelqvist, Stephen J Powers, Juan Turrion-Gomez, Rachel Rossiter, Joanna Amey, Tom Martin, Martin Weih, Niclas Gyllenstrand, Angela Karp, Ulf Lagercrantz, Steven J Hanley, Sofia Berlin, Ann-Christin Rönnberg-Wästljung
Willow species (Salix) are important as short-rotation biomass crops for bioenergy, which creates a demand for faster genetic improvement and breeding through deployment of molecular marker-assisted selection (MAS). To find markers associated with important adaptive traits, such as growth and phenology, for use in MAS, we genetically dissected the trait variation of a Salix viminalis (L.) population of 323 accessions. The accessions were sampled throughout northern Europe and were established at two field sites in Pustnäs, Sweden, and at Woburn, UK, offering the opportunity to assess the impact of genotype-by-environment interactions (G × E) on trait-marker associations...
May 2016: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Suzanne Milner, Robert A Holland, Andrew Lovett, Gilla Sunnenberg, Astley Hastings, Pete Smith, Shifeng Wang, Gail Taylor
We present the first assessment of the impact of land use change (LUC) to second-generation (2G) bioenergy crops on ecosystem services (ES) resolved spatially for Great Britain (GB). A systematic approach was used to assess available evidence on the impacts of LUC from arable, semi-improved grassland or woodland/forest, to 2G bioenergy crops, for which a quantitative 'threat matrix' was developed. The threat matrix was used to estimate potential impacts of transitions to either Miscanthus, short-rotation coppice (SRC, willow and poplar) or short-rotation forestry (SRF)...
March 2016: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Laura Meller, Wilfried Thuiller, Samuel Pironon, Morgane Barbet-Massin, Andries Hof, Mar Cabeza
Both climate change and habitat modification exert serious pressure on biodiversity. Although climate change mitigation has been identified as an important strategy for biodiversity conservation, bioenergy remains a controversial mitigation action due to its potential negative ecological and socio-economic impacts which arise through habitat modification by land-use change. While the debate continues, the separate or simultaneous impacts of both climate change and bioenergy on biodiversity have not yet been compared...
July 1, 2015: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Helmut Haberl
The notion that biomass combustion is carbon neutral vis-a-vis the atmosphere because carbon released during biomass combustion is absorbed during plant regrowth is inherent in the greenhouse gas accounting rules in many regulations and conventions. But this 'carbon neutrality' assumption of bioenergy is an oversimplification that can result in major flaws in emission accounting; it may even result in policies that increase, instead of reduce, overall greenhouse gas emissions. This commentary discusses the systemic feedbacks and ecosystem succession/land-use history issues ignored by the carbon neutrality assumption...
July 2013: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
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