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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ADVANCING SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT CROPPING SYSTEMS FOR THE SHORT GROWING SEASONS AND COLD, WET SOILS OF THE UPPER MIDWEST

Location: Soil Management Research

Title: Sustainable bioenergy feedstock production systems: Integrating carbon dynamics, erosion, water quality, and greenhouse gas production

Authors
item Johnson, Jane
item Novak, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 8, 2011
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Citation: Johnson, J.M., Novak, J.M. 2012. Sustainable bioenergy feedstock production systems: Integrating carbon dynamics, erosion, water quality, and greenhouse gas production. In: Liebig, M.A., Franzluebbers, A.J., Follett, R.F., editors. Managing Agricultural Greenhouse Gases: Coordinated Agricultural Research through GRACEnet to Address Our Changing Climate. San Diego, CA: Elsevier. p. 111-126.

Interpretive Summary: Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission is one of several rationales for developing renewable biomass energy. Unfortunately, there are few studies reporting direct impacts of harvesting biomass feedstocks on GHG, especially affects on nitrous oxide (N2O) flux. Overzealous biomass harvest may accelerate mineralization of soil organic matter (SOM); thus, increase atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), increase the risk of erosion and degrade water quality. However, prudent management may avoid negative consequences, whereby GHG mitigation and other environmental benefits attributed to bioenergy are accentuated. Reducing tillage or using no tillage, adding cover and including or expanding the presence of perennials on the landscape are established conservation practices for promoting soil and water quality. In addition, amending with biochar is an emerging practice for mitigating GHG emission. Ideally, bioenergy mitigates GHG emission and provides environmental services beneficial to soil and water while providing domestic and renewable energy.

Technical Abstract: Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission is one of several rationales for developing renewable biomass energy. Unfortunately, there are few studies reporting direct impacts of harvesting biomass feedstocks on GHG, especially effects on nitrous oxide (N2O) flux. Overzealous biomass harvest may accelerate mineralization of soil organic matter (SOM) thus, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and increasing the risk of erosion and degrading water quality. However, prudent management may avoid negative consequences, whereby GHG mitigation and other environmental benefits attributed to bioenergy are accentuated. Reduced or no tillage, adding cover and including or expanding the presence of perennials on the landscape are established conservation practices for promoting soil and water quality. In addition, amending with biochar is an emerging practice for mitigating GHG emission. Ideally, bioenergy mitigates GHG emission and provides environmental services beneficial to soil and water while providing domestic and renewable energy. [REAP Publication] [GRACEnet Publication]

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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