Next Article in Journal
Potential of Cultivating Dry Season Maize along a Hydrological Gradient of an Inland Valley in Uganda
Next Article in Special Issue
Comparison of the Effect of Perennial Energy Crops and Agricultural Crops on Weed Flora Diversity
Previous Article in Journal
Hierarchical Patch Dynamics Perspective in Farming System Design
Previous Article in Special Issue
Maize Silage Digestate Application Affecting Germination and Early Growth of Maize Modulated by Soil Type
Open AccessReview

Prospects of Bioenergy Cropping Systems for A More Social-Ecologically Sound Bioeconomy

Biobased Products and Energy Crops (340b), Institute of Crop Science, University of Hohenheim, Fruwirthstr. 23, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
Institute of Physics and Meteorology (120), University of Hohenheim, Garbenstr. 30, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
Earth Informatics, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
College of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China
IBG-2: Plant Sciences, Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany
Bioeconomy Science Center (BioSC), c/o Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany
Institute of Animal Breeding and Husbandry, Kiel University, Olshausenstr. 40, 24098 Kiel, Germany
MEtRICs, Departamento de Ciências e Tecnologia da Biomassa, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campus de Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Dipartimento di Agricoltura, Alimentazione e Ambiente (Di3A), University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(10), 605;
Received: 29 August 2019 / Revised: 29 September 2019 / Accepted: 30 September 2019 / Published: 2 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy Crops: Current Status and Future Prospects)
The growing bioeconomy will require a greater supply of biomass in the future for both bioenergy and bio-based products. Today, many bioenergy cropping systems (BCS) are suboptimal due to either social-ecological threats or technical limitations. In addition, the competition for land between bioenergy-crop cultivation, food-crop cultivation, and biodiversity conservation is expected to increase as a result of both continuous world population growth and expected severe climate change effects. This study investigates how BCS can become more social-ecologically sustainable in future. It brings together expert opinions from the fields of agronomy, economics, meteorology, and geography. Potential solutions to the following five main requirements for a more holistically sustainable supply of biomass are summarized: (i) bioenergy-crop cultivation should provide a beneficial social-ecological contribution, such as an increase in both biodiversity and landscape aesthetics, (ii) bioenergy crops should be cultivated on marginal agricultural land so as not to compete with food-crop production, (iii) BCS need to be resilient in the face of projected severe climate change effects, (iv) BCS should foster rural development and support the vast number of small-scale family farmers, managing about 80% of agricultural land and natural resources globally, and (v) bioenergy-crop cultivation must be planned and implemented systematically, using holistic approaches. Further research activities and policy incentives should not only consider the economic potential of bioenergy-crop cultivation, but also aspects of biodiversity, soil fertility, and climate change adaptation specific to site conditions and the given social context. This will help to adapt existing agricultural systems in a changing world and foster the development of a more social-ecologically sustainable bioeconomy. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiversity; bioeconomy; bioenergy crop; biomass; carbon capture; climate change adaptation; cropping system; industrial crop; marginal land; resilience biodiversity; bioeconomy; bioenergy crop; biomass; carbon capture; climate change adaptation; cropping system; industrial crop; marginal land; resilience
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Von Cossel, M.; Wagner, M.; Lask, J.; Magenau, E.; Bauerle, A.; Von Cossel, V.; Warrach-Sagi, K.; Elbersen, B.; Staritsky, I.; Van Eupen, M.; Iqbal, Y.; Jablonowski, N.D.; Happe, S.; Fernando, A.L.; Scordia, D.; Cosentino, S.L.; Wulfmeyer, V.; Lewandowski, I.; Winkler, B. Prospects of Bioenergy Cropping Systems for A More Social-Ecologically Sound Bioeconomy. Agronomy 2019, 9, 605.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop