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Title (Primary) Assessing regional-scale impacts of short rotation coppices on ecosystem services by modeling land-use decisions
Author Schulze, J.; Frank, K.; Priess, J.; Meyer, M.A.;
Journal PLOS ONE
Year 2016
Department CLE; OESA;
Volume 11
Issue 4
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T16; T12; Y11;
UFZ wide themes RU5;
Abstract Meeting the world’s growing energy demand through bioenergy production involves extensive land-use change which could have severe environmental and social impacts. Second generation bioenergy feedstocks offer a possible solution to this problem. They have the potential to reduce land-use conflicts between food and bioenergy production as they can be grown on low quality land not suitable for food production. However, a comprehensive impact assessment that considers multiple ecosystem services (ESS) and biodiversity is needed to identify the environmentally best feedstock option, as trade-offs are inherent. In this study, we simulate the spatial distribution of short rotation coppices (SRCs) in the landscape of the Mulde watershed in Central Germany by modeling profit-maximizing farmers under different economic and policy-driven scenarios using a spatially explicit economic simulation model. This allows to derive general insights and a mechanistic understanding of regional-scale impacts on multiple ESS in the absence of large-scale implementation. The modeled distribution of SRCs, required to meet the regional demand of combined heat and power (CHP) plants for solid biomass, had little or no effect on the provided ESS. In the policy-driven scenario, placing SRCs on low or high quality soils to provide ecological focus areas, as required within the Common Agricultural Policy in the EU, had little effect on ESS. Only a substantial increase in the SRC production area, beyond the regional demand of CHP plants, had a relevant effect, namely a negative impact on food production as well as a positive impact on biodiversity and regulating ESS. Beneficial impacts occurred for single ESS. However, the number of sites with balanced ESS supply hardly increased due to larger shares of SRCs in the landscape. Regression analyses showed that the occurrence of sites with balanced ESS supply was more strongly driven by biophysical factors than by the SRC share in the landscape. This indicates that SRCs negligibly affect trade-offs between individual ESS. Coupling spatially explicit economic simulation models with environmental and ESS assessment models can contribute to a comprehensive impact assessment of bioenergy feedstocks that have not yet been planted.
ID 17330
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Schulze, J., Frank, K., Priess, J., Meyer, M.A. (2016):
Assessing regional-scale impacts of short rotation coppices on ecosystem services by modeling land-use decisions
PLOS One 11 (4), e0153862