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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pendleton, Oregon » Soil and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #307056

Research Project: Improved Soil Managment Practices for Tilled Summer Fallow in the Pacific Northwest

Location: Soil and Water Conservation Research

Title: Biogeochemical research priorities for sustainable biofuel and bioenergy feedstock production in the Americas

Author
item Gollany, Hero
item Titus, Brian - Canadian Forest Service
item Scott, Andrew - Us Forest Service (FS)
item Asbjornsen, Heidi - University Of New Hampshire
item Resh, Sigrid - Michigan Technological University
item Chimner, Rodney - Michigan Technological University
item Kaczmarek, Donald - Retired Non ARS Employee
item Leite, Luiz - Embrapa
item Ferreira, Ann - Embrapa
item Rod, Kenton - Washington State University
item Hilbert, Jorge - Instituto Nacional Tecnologia Agropecuaria
item Galdos, Marcelo - Brazilian Bioethanol Science & Technology Laboratory
item Cisz, Michelle - Michigan Technological University

Submitted to: Environmental Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/3/2015
Publication Date: 5/26/2015
Citation: Gollany, H.T., Titus, B.D., Scott, A., Asbjornsen, H., Resh, S., Chimner, R.A., Kaczmarek, D.J., Leite, L., Ferreira, A.C., Rod, K., Hilbert, J., Galdos, M.V., Cisz, M. 2015. Biogeochemical research priorities for sustainable biofuel and bioenergy feedstock production in the Americas. Environmental Management. doi: 10.1007/s00267-015-0536-7.

Interpretive Summary: Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Pan-American region is increasing demands on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustainability related to biomass production. Biomass production systems incrementally remove greater quantities of site organic matter, which in turn affects soil organic matter and associated carbon and nutrient storage (and hence long-term soil productivity) and off-site impacts. While these consequences have been extensively studied for some crops and sites, the ongoing and impending impacts of biomass removal require management strategies for ensuring that soil properties and functions are sustained for all combinations of crops, soils, sites, climates and management systems, and that impacts of biomass management (including off-site impacts) are environmentally acceptable. In a changing global environment, knowledge of cumulative impacts will also become increasingly important. Long-term experiments are essential for key crops, soils and management systems because short-term results do not necessarily reflect long-term impacts, although improved modeling capability may help to predict these impacts. Identification and validation of soil sustainability indicators for both site prescriptions and spatial applications would better inform commercial and policy decisions. In an increasingly inter-related but constrained global context, researchers should engage across inter-disciplinary, inter-agency, and international lines to better ensure long-term soil productivity across a range of scales, from site to landscape [GRACEnet and REAP publication].

Technical Abstract: Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Americas is increasing demands on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustainability related to biomass production. Biomass production systems incrementally remove greater quantities of organic matter, which in turn affects soil organic matter and associated carbon and nutrient storage (and hence long-term soil productivity) and off-site impacts. While these consequences have been extensively studied for some crops and sites, the ongoing and impending impacts of biomass removal require management strategies for ensuring that soil properties and functions are sustained for all combinations of crops, soils, sites, climates and management systems, and that impacts of biomass management (including off-site impacts) are environmentally acceptable. In a changing global environment, knowledge of cumulative impacts will also become increasingly important. Long-term experiments are essential for key crops, soils and management systems because short-term results do not necessarily reflect long-term impacts, although improved modeling capability may help to predict these impacts. Identification and validation of soil sustainability indicators for both site prescriptions and spatial applications would better inform commercial and policy decisions. In an increasingly inter-related but constrained global context, researchers should engage across inter-disciplinary, inter-agency, and international lines to better ensure long-term soil productivity across a range of scales, from site to landscape.