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Title: Bioenergy Systems, Soil Health and Climate Change
Contributor(s): George, Brendan  (author); Cowie, Annette  (author)
Publication Date: 2011
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-20256-8_16
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Abstract: Biomass energy (bioenergy) could play a significant role in meeting global energy demands. But this would entail a substantial increase in the scale and intensity of biomass production, which could have negative implications for soil health. Bioenergy can contribute to climate change mitigation through displacement of fossil fuels and potentially through sequestration of carbon. Conversely, the required expansion of bioenergy feedstock production could lead to emissions through loss of soil carbon, especially through indirect land use change (iLUC). The gain or loss of terrestrial carbon is determined by the LUC and systems used for biomass production. In this chapter, we first define bioenergy systems and outline their potential to deliver low-carbon energy. We then describe the opportunities and risks to soil health from bioenergy systems, and finally discuss measures by which these risks can be minimised, and biomass can be produced while protecting and ideally enhancing soil health. While our focus is on the interaction between bioenergy systems and soil health predominantly at a local scale, we also discuss larger scale issues including the intensification of production and how biomass supply will need to meet developing sustainability systems to meet different social and environmental constraints.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Soil Health and Climate Change, p. 369-397
Publisher: Springer
Place of Publication: London, United Kingdom
ISBN: 9783642202551
Field of Research (FOR): 050209 Natural Resource Management
050301 Carbon Sequestration Science
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Soil Biology
Series Number : 29
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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