Special Issue "Bioenergy and Land"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Floortje van der Hilst
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Copernicus Institute, Utrecht University
Interests: sustainability; land use; bioenergy; land-use change modeling, renewable energy
Dr. Annette Cowie
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
NSW Department of Primary Industries, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia
Interests: sustainability indicators; greenhouse gas accounting; soil carbon; bioenergy; biochar
Prof. Dr. Daniela Thrän
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Department Bioenergy, Leipzig, Germany
Interests: sustainability; bioenergy; renewable energy systems; bioeconomy; monitoring systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

To meet stringent greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets to limit the global temperature rise to well below 2C (preferably 1.5 C) above pre-industrial levels, as agreed upon in the Paris Agreement, large contributions of bioenergy and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) will probably be required. However, there are many sustainability concerns related to bioenergy, such as increased GHG emissions, loss of biodiversity, impacts on water availability and quality, impacts on soils, and socio-economic impacts such as impacts on food-security. The majority of these sustainability issues are related to land-use and land-management changes induced by bioenergy feedstock production. The impacts of land-use and land-management changes highly depend on the biophysical and socio-economic context. Assessments of the sustainability of bioenergy should therefore specifically account for this location-specific context. 

In this Special Issue, we aim to assemble state-of-the-art studies on the integration of bioenergy feedstock production into sustainable landscapes. We invite papers focusing on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • best practices and examples from the field of initiatives that aim to integrate biomass production with other land uses (e.g., agriculture, forestry, conservation);
  • modeling studies that assess sustainable bioenergy potentials and/or impact assessments; and
  • governance approaches and monitoring systems for sustainable biomass production.

The focus of the studies can vary from local to global scales.

Dr. Floortje van der Hilst
Dr. Annette Cowie
Prof. Dr. Daniela Thrän
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • land use
  • bioenergy
  • sustainability
  • environmental impacts
  • socio-economic impacts
  • sustainable biomass potential
  • land management
  • land use planning

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Article
Spatially Explicit Assessment of Suitable Conditions for the Sustainable Production of Aviation Fuels in Brazil
Land 2021, 10(7), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070705 - 04 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 766
Abstract
International civil aviation strives to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) is an alternative for such purpose. However, for an alternative fuel to be considered SAF, some conditions must be met, and production must [...] Read more.
International civil aviation strives to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) is an alternative for such purpose. However, for an alternative fuel to be considered SAF, some conditions must be met, and production must be certified for sustainability. This paper presents an assessment of the necessary conditions for the sustainable production of these biofuels in Brazil. It is based on a geospatial publicly available database (SAFmaps) that was built with the aim of providing information to stakeholders who would be interested in the production of SAF. The geographic scope corresponds to an area that is about half of the country. The case studies reported in this paper are related to four crop-based feedstocks (eucalyptus, soybean, sugarcane, and corn), which could be used for SAF production, according to three certified routes (FT, HEFA, and ATJ) (Fischer–Tropsch, Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids and Alcohol to Jet); in total, six potential production sites were assessed. For each crop, the detailed assessment is based on estimates of suitability for biomass production, yields, and costs. The assumptions made allowed us to explicitly analyse the risk of deforestation (production could only occur with displacement of pastures) and the necessary preservation of sensitive biomes and of legally protected areas, in addition to observing the restrictive conditions imposed by CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation). To reduce GHG emissions, transporting biomass over long distances was assumed to be only by rail or pipeline. In addition, we address alternatives to minimise the risks associated with induced land-use change (iLUC) and to reduce impacts on the landscape. The results show that the production of SAF through the ATJ route, using ethanol produced from sugarcane and corn, requires less land. Economic assessment was outside the scope of this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Article
Model-Based Assessment of Giant Reed (Arundo donax L.) Energy Yield in the Form of Diverse Biofuels in Marginal Areas of Italy
Land 2021, 10(6), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060548 - 21 May 2021
Viewed by 631
Abstract
Giant reed is a promising perennial grass providing ligno-cellulosic biomass suitable to be cultivated in marginal lands (MLs) and converted into several forms of renewable energy. This study investigates how much energy, in the form of biomethane, bioethanol, and combustible solid, can be [...] Read more.
Giant reed is a promising perennial grass providing ligno-cellulosic biomass suitable to be cultivated in marginal lands (MLs) and converted into several forms of renewable energy. This study investigates how much energy, in the form of biomethane, bioethanol, and combustible solid, can be obtained by the cultivation of this species in marginal land of two Italian regions, via the spatially explicit application of the Arungro crop model. Arungro was calibrated in both rainfed/well-irrigated systems, under non-limiting conditions for nutrient availability. The model was then linked to a georeferenced database, with data on (i) current/future climate, (ii) agro-management, (iii) soil physics/hydrology, (iv) land marginality, and (v) crop suitability to environment. Simulations were run at 500 × 500 m spatial resolution in MLs of Catania (CT, Southern Italy) and Bologna (BO, Northern Italy) provinces, characterized by contrasting pedo-climates. At field scale, Arungro explained 85% of the year-to-year variability of measured carbon accumulation in aerial biomass. At the provincial level, simulated energy yields progressively increased from bioethanol, to biomethane, and finally to combustible solid, with average values of 92-115-264 GJ ha−1 in BO and 105-133-304 GJ ha−1 in CT. Mean energy yields estimated for 2030 remained unchanged compared to the baseline, although showing large heterogeneity across the study area (changes between −6/+15% in BO and −16/+15% in CT). This study provides site-specific indications on giant reed current productions, energy yields, and natural water consumption, as well as on their future trends and stability, ready-to-use for multiple stakeholders of the agricultural sector involved in bioenergy planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Article
Birds and Bioenergy within the Americas: A Cross-National, Social–Ecological Study of Ecosystem Service Tradeoffs
Land 2021, 10(3), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030258 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1026
Abstract
Although renewable energy holds great promise in mitigating climate change, there are socioeconomic and ecological tradeoffs related to each form of renewable energy. Forest-related bioenergy is especially controversial, because tree plantations often replace land that could be used to grow food crops and [...] Read more.
Although renewable energy holds great promise in mitigating climate change, there are socioeconomic and ecological tradeoffs related to each form of renewable energy. Forest-related bioenergy is especially controversial, because tree plantations often replace land that could be used to grow food crops and can have negative impacts on biodiversity. In this study, we examined public perceptions and ecosystem service tradeoffs between the provisioning services associated with cover types associated with bioenergy crop (feedstock) production and forest habitat-related supporting services for birds, which themselves provide cultural and regulating services. We combined a social survey-based assessment of local values and perceptions with measures of bioenergy feedstock production impacts on bird habitat in four countries: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the USA. Respondents in all countries rated birds as important or very important (83–99% of respondents) and showed lower enthusiasm for, but still supported, the expansion of bioenergy feedstocks (48–60% of respondents). Bioenergy feedstock cover types in Brazil and Argentina had the greatest negative impact on birds but had a positive impact on birds in the USA. In Brazil and Mexico, public perceptions aligned fairly well with the realities of the impacts of potential bioenergy feedstocks on bird communities. However, in Argentina and the USA, perceptions of bioenergy impacts on birds did not match well with the data. Understanding people’s values and perceptions can help inform better policy and management decisions regarding land use changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Article
Contribution of Biomass Supply Chains for Bioenergy to Sustainable Development Goals
Land 2021, 10(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020181 - 10 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1211
Abstract
This work evaluates the relationships between bioenergy and related biomass supply chains and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Using Nilsson et al. (2016) seven-point scoring framework, the relationships between biomass supply for bioenergy and the SDGs were evaluated based on existing [...] Read more.
This work evaluates the relationships between bioenergy and related biomass supply chains and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Using Nilsson et al. (2016) seven-point scoring framework, the relationships between biomass supply for bioenergy and the SDGs were evaluated based on existing synthesis papers, modeling studies and empirical analyses, and expert knowledge. To complement this, contributions to SDG targets of 37 best practice case studies from around the world were documented. In reviewing these case studies, it was found that when supply chains are implemented appropriately and integrated with existing systems, they can have overwhelmingly positive contributions. Beyond directly contributing to SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), at least half of all case studies supported progress toward SDGs 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), and 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption); however, the ways in which supply chains contributed often differed. Agricultural biomass supply chains (energy crops and residues) were most likely to contribute to SDGs 2 (Zero Hunger) and 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), while waste and forest supply chains were most likely to contribute to SDG 15 (Life on Land). The development of bioenergy systems in rural and indigenous communities also indirectly supports societal SDGs such as SDGs 1 (No Poverty), 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Inequality), and 10 (Reduced Inequalities). This work informs how SDGs can be used as a normative framework to guide the implementation of sustainable biomass supply chains, whether it is used for bioenergy or the broader bioeconomy. Recommendations for key stakeholders and topics for future work are also proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Article
Identifying the Necessities of Regional-Based Analysis to Study Germany’s Biogas Production Development under Energy Transition
Land 2021, 10(2), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020135 - 01 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 813
Abstract
The German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) has been deemed successful in promoting German biogas production. However, the German state-level biogas production development (BPD) under the EEG has not been systematically studied and compared. This research aimed to study the German state-level BPD [...] Read more.
The German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) has been deemed successful in promoting German biogas production. However, the German state-level biogas production development (BPD) under the EEG has not been systematically studied and compared. This research aimed to study the German state-level BPD using the multivariate linear regression model with a dummy variable, and to spatially quantify the environmental and agricultural consequences using the geographic information system (GIS) technique to identify the necessities of regional-based analysis on Germany’s BPD. The empirical results indicated that Saxony-Anhalt was advanced in BPD, while farmers’ response from Bavaria to EEG was the weakest. The reason behind could be the differences in farmers’ personality traits and risk cognitions toward the biogas production investment. The spatial analysis indicated that Saxony-Anhalt had more severe environmental problems caused by the biogas production expansion than Bavaria. Therefore, to promote BPD in states such as Bavaria, an increase in the nationwide unified subsidy might lead to an overreaction of the EEG strong response states, e.g., Saxony-Anhalt, leading to more serious environmental problems. In the end, there is a need for more regional-based research on studying the BPD in Germany in the future to avoid the ambiguity of large-scale studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Article
Implications of Bioenergy Cropping for Soil: Remote Sensing Identification of Silage Maize Cultivation and Risk Assessment Concerning Soil Erosion and Compaction
Land 2021, 10(2), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020128 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 712
Abstract
Energy transition strategies in Germany have led to an expansion of energy crop cultivation in landscape, with silage maize as most valuable feedstock. The changes in the traditional cropping systems, with increasing shares of maize, raised concerns about the sustainability of agricultural feedstock [...] Read more.
Energy transition strategies in Germany have led to an expansion of energy crop cultivation in landscape, with silage maize as most valuable feedstock. The changes in the traditional cropping systems, with increasing shares of maize, raised concerns about the sustainability of agricultural feedstock production regarding threats to soil health. However, spatially explicit data about silage maize cultivation are missing; thus, implications for soil cannot be estimated in a precise way. With this study, we firstly aimed to track the fields cultivated with maize based on remote sensing data. Secondly, available soil data were target-specifically processed to determine the site-specific vulnerability of the soils for erosion and compaction. The generated, spatially-explicit data served as basis for a differentiated analysis of the development of the agricultural biogas sector, associated maize cultivation and its implications for soil health. In the study area, located in a low mountain range region in Western Germany, the number and capacity of biogas producing units increased by 25 installations and 10,163 kW from 2009 to 2016. The remote sensing-based classification approach showed that the maize cultivation area was expanded by 16% from 7305 to 8447 hectares. Thus, maize cultivation accounted for about 20% of the arable land use; however, with distinct local differences. Significant shares of about 30% of the maize cultivation was done on fields that show at least high potentials for soil erosion exceeding 25 t soil ha−1 a−1. Furthermore, about 10% of the maize cultivation was done on fields that pedogenetically show an elevated risk for soil compaction. In order to reach more sustainable cultivation systems of feedstock for anaerobic digestion, changes in cultivated crops and management strategies are urgently required, particularly against first signs of climate change. The presented approach can regionally be modified in order to develop site-adapted, sustainable bioenergy cropping systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Article
Pan-European Mapping of Underutilized Land for Bioenergy Production
Land 2021, 10(2), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020102 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 942
Abstract
This study aims at identifying underutilized land potentially suitable for bioenergy production in Europe by means of remote sensing time series analysis. The background is the Revised Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) requesting that 32% of Europe’s energy production shall come from renewable energy [...] Read more.
This study aims at identifying underutilized land potentially suitable for bioenergy production in Europe by means of remote sensing time series analysis. The background is the Revised Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) requesting that 32% of Europe’s energy production shall come from renewable energy sources until 2030. In order to avoid the food versus fuel debate, we only considered land that has not been used in the previous five years. Satellite remote sensing is the only technique that allows for the assessment of the usage of land for such a long time span at the pan-European scale with reasonable efforts. We used Landsat 8 (L8) data for the full five year time period 2015–2019 and included additional Sentinel-2 (S2) data for 2018 and 2019. The analysis was based on a stratified approach for biogeographical regions and countries using Google Earth Engine. To our knowledge, this is the first work that employs high resolution time series data for pan-European mapping of underutilized land. The average patch size of underutilized land was found to be between 23.2 ha and 49.6 ha, depending on the biogeographical region. The results show an overall accuracy of more than 85% with a confidence interval (CI) of 1.55% at the 95% confidence level (CL). The classification suggests that at total of 5.3 million ha of underutilized land in Europe is potentially available for agricultural bioenergy production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Article
The Potential of Switchgrass and Miscanthus to Enhance Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration—Predicted by DayCent Model
Land 2020, 9(12), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120509 - 10 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1215
Abstract
Warm season perennial C4 grasses (WSGs), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and miscanthus species (Miscanthus spp.), have been reported to positively influence short-term (15–20 years) soil organic carbon (SOC). In this study, the DayCent model was used to predict changes in long-term [...] Read more.
Warm season perennial C4 grasses (WSGs), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) and miscanthus species (Miscanthus spp.), have been reported to positively influence short-term (15–20 years) soil organic carbon (SOC). In this study, the DayCent model was used to predict changes in long-term SOC stocks under WSGs for moderate (Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5) and high (RCP 8.5) warming climate change scenarios in southern Ontario, Canada, and to determine how long the enhanced SOC stock will last when WSGs are converted back to annual crop rotation. The model predicted that a consistent corn–corn–soybean–winter wheat (CCSW) rotation prevented SOC from depletion over the 21st century. Under WSGs, the model predicted high rates of SOC sequestration during the first 20–30 years which then tended to stabilize after 50–60 years. However, the rate of SOC sequestration over 90 years for RCP 4.5 was 0.26 and 0.94 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 for switchgrass and miscanthus, respectively. If 40-year stands of WSGs are converted back to CCSW, the model predicted SOC decline to the previous level in 40–50 years. DayCent predicted that under RCP 8.5 scenario in the second half of the 21st century and in the future, there will be a reduction in SOC stocks, especially under miscanthus stands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Article
Bioenergy Potential and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Intensifying European Temporary Grasslands
Land 2020, 9(11), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110457 - 18 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 777
Abstract
Agricultural intensification is considered essential for meeting growing demand for food and biomass for energy purposes. Intensifying grasslands is under-represented, although it is a promising option given their large land area and relatively low management levels. This study quantifies the bioenergy potential from [...] Read more.
Agricultural intensification is considered essential for meeting growing demand for food and biomass for energy purposes. Intensifying grasslands is under-represented, although it is a promising option given their large land area and relatively low management levels. This study quantifies the bioenergy potential from intensifying temporary grasslands in Europe and the integral greenhouse gas emission effects in 2030. We first conducted a literature review of intensification options for European grasslands and then applied the environmental impact assessment model MITERRA-Europe to implement the key intensification option of using multi-species grass mixtures. The results showed that 853 kha (or 8%) of temporary grassland could be made sustainably available for additional biomass production. This can be translated into a bioethanol potential of 23 PJ yr−1 and an emission mitigation potential of 5.8 Mt CO2-eq yr−1 (if conventional grass mixture from surplus temporary grassland is used for energy) or 72 PJ yr−1 and 4.0 Mt CO2-eq yr−1 (if surplus temporary grassland is used for grassy energy crops). Although the bioenergy potential is limited, the key advantage of intensification measure is that it results in a better environmental performance of temporary grasslands. This makes it a key option for sustainably producing bioenergy in areas with high shares of temporary grasslands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Article
Spatial Variation in Environmental Impacts of Sugarcane Expansion in Brazil
Land 2020, 9(10), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9100397 - 20 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
In the past decades, sugarcane production in Brazil has expanded rapidly to meet increasing ethanol demand. The large majority of this expansion occurred in Sao Paulo state. We used an integrated approach considering location-specific biophysical characteristics to determine the environmental impacts of sugarcane [...] Read more.
In the past decades, sugarcane production in Brazil has expanded rapidly to meet increasing ethanol demand. The large majority of this expansion occurred in Sao Paulo state. We used an integrated approach considering location-specific biophysical characteristics to determine the environmental impacts of sugarcane expansion and their spatial variation in Sao Paulo state (2004–2015). The included environmental impacts are greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biodiversity, soil erosion, and water quantity. All impacts were integrated into a single environmental performance index to determine trade-offs between impacts. Our results show a strong spatial variation in environmental impacts and trade-offs between them. The magnitude and direction of these impacts are mostly driven by the type of land use change and by the heterogeneity of the biophysical conditions. Areas where expansion of sugar cane has resulted in mostly negative environmental impacts are located in the center and east of the state (related to the change of shrublands, eucalyptus, and forest), while areas where sugar cane expansion has resulted in positive impacts are located in the center-west and north (related to the change of annual crops). Identifying areas with mainly positive and negative impacts enables the development of strategies to mitigate negative effects and enhance positive ones for future sugarcane expansion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Article
The Economic Accessibility of CO2 Sequestration through Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) in the US
Land 2020, 9(9), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9090299 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3049
Abstract
Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is one strategy to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. To assess the potential scale and cost of CO2 sequestration from BECCS in the US, this analysis models carbon sequestration net of supply chain emissions [...] Read more.
Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is one strategy to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. To assess the potential scale and cost of CO2 sequestration from BECCS in the US, this analysis models carbon sequestration net of supply chain emissions and costs of biomass production, delivery, power generation, and CO2 capture and sequestration in saline formations. The analysis includes two biomass supply scenarios (near-term and long-term), two biomass logistics scenarios (conventional and pelletized), and two generation technologies (pulverized combustion and integrated gasification combined cycle). Results show marginal cost per tonne CO2 (accounting for costs of electricity and CO2 emissions of reference power generation scenarios) as a function of CO2 sequestered (simulating capture of up to 90% of total CO2 sequestration potential) and associated spatial distribution of resources and generation locations for the array of scenario options. Under a near-term scenario using up to 206 million tonnes per year of biomass, up to 181 million tonnes CO2 can be sequestered annually at scenario-average costs ranging from $62 to $137 per tonne CO2; under a long-term scenario using up to 740 million tonnes per year of biomass, up to 737 million tonnes CO2 can be sequestered annually at scenario-average costs ranging from $42 to $92 per tonne CO2. These estimates of CO2 sequestration potential may be reduced if future competing demand reduces resource availability or may be increased if displaced emissions from conventional power sources are included. Results suggest there are large-scale opportunities to implement BECCS at moderate cost in the US, particularly in the Midwest, Plains States, and Texas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Article
Biodiversity Impacts of Increased Ethanol Production in Brazil
Land 2020, 9(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010012 - 03 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2042
Abstract
Growing domestic and international ethanol demand is expected to result in increased sugarcane cultivation in Brazil. Sugarcane expansion currently results in land-use changes mainly in the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes, two severely threatened biodiversity hotspots. This study quantifies potential biodiversity impacts of [...] Read more.
Growing domestic and international ethanol demand is expected to result in increased sugarcane cultivation in Brazil. Sugarcane expansion currently results in land-use changes mainly in the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes, two severely threatened biodiversity hotspots. This study quantifies potential biodiversity impacts of increased ethanol demand in Brazil in a spatially explicit manner. We project changes in potential total, threatened, endemic, and range-restricted mammals’ species richness up to 2030. Decreased potential species richness due to increased ethanol demand in 2030 was projected for about 19,000 km2 in the Cerrado, 17,000 km2 in the Atlantic Forest, and 7000 km2 in the Pantanal. In the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest, the biodiversity impacts of sugarcane expansion were mainly due to direct land-use change; in the Pantanal, they were largely due to indirect land-use change. The biodiversity impact of increased ethanol demand was projected to be smaller than the impact of other drivers of land-use change. This study provides a first indication of biodiversity impacts related to increased ethanol production in Brazil, which is useful for policy makers and ethanol producers aiming to mitigate impacts. Future research should assess the impact of potential mitigation options, such as nature protection, agroforestry, or agricultural intensification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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Review

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Review
Land Use and Management Effects on Sustainable Sugarcane-Derived Bioenergy
Land 2021, 10(1), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010072 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2014
Abstract
Bioenergy is an important and feasible option for mitigating global warming and climate change. However, large-scale land-use change (LUC) to expand bioenergy crops, such as sugarcane, raises concerns about the potential negative environmental and socioeconomic side effects. Such effects are context-specific, and depending [...] Read more.
Bioenergy is an important and feasible option for mitigating global warming and climate change. However, large-scale land-use change (LUC) to expand bioenergy crops, such as sugarcane, raises concerns about the potential negative environmental and socioeconomic side effects. Such effects are context-specific, and depending on the LUC scenario and management practices, several co-benefits can be attained. We reviewed the literature and discussed how LUC and best management practices affect key components of sustainability (e.g., soil health, soil carbon (C) sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions, nutrient cycling, water quality, among others) of sugarcane-derived bioenergy production in Brazil. Sugarcane expansion has occurred predominantly over pasture areas, although converting croplands could be also an environmentally feasible option. The land transition from low-productivity pastures to sugarcane cultivation seems to be a sustainable pathway to increase bioenergy production. This LUC scenario enhances soil health and soil C sequestration over time, although soil compaction, biodiversity loss, and erosion are still challenging. Besides, adopting best management practices, such as conservation tillage, sustainable crop residue management, rational fertilization, and recycling by-products, has been fundamental to ensuring sustainable bioenergy production. Public policies and well-designed legal frameworks and regulations, such as the Forest Code and the RenovaBio legislations in Brazil, are necessary to make bioenergy production compatible with rational land use and protection. Lastly, our analysis provided insights into sugarcane expansion over a small proportion (1%) of pasture areas in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) and sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, which may result in a substantial impact on global bioenergy supply. We concluded that sugarcane-derived bioenergy is a sustainable option to tackle climate change while provisioning other key ecosystem services and promoting socioeconomic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
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