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Impacts of increasing biomass production on biodiversity and landscape - NF0440

Description
The overall aim of the project is to answer the question “ What affect will up to 1 million hectares of biomass/bioenergy crops have on biodiversity?”. Within the project we will determine how biodiversity, measured both in terms of population dynamics of key indicator species and overall measures such as species richness and species dominance indices (where data is available), will be affected by the large-scale conversion of arable land to biomass cropping, for a range of landscape heterogeneity scenarios.

To address this aim we will use a structured modelling approach based on the framework developed in a previous Defra project (IF0103).

The key objectives of the project are:

1. To develop a range of “plausible future” scenarios for the conversion of land currently used for growing arable crops to the growing of biomass crops within the UK, which cover a range of spatial arrangements of biomass cropping within the landscape.
2. To identify the key data available for the development of models to describe the impact of the conversion of arable land to biomass cropping on biodiversity (with specific emphasis on key indicator species).
3. To integrate the available data using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and ecosystem modelling approaches and thus predict the effects of the “plausible future” scenarios on the biodiversity as measured both by the population dynamics of key indicator species, and overall measures of biodiversity such as species richness and species dominance indices
4. To identify the major impacts on biodiversity of the large-scale conversion of arable land to biomass cropping

At the end of the project, we will report on the potential impacts on biodiversity of the large-scale conversion of arable land to biomass cropping. This will include an indication of how further data could be used to reduce the uncertainty associated with these potential impacts, and identify possible policies that could be used to ameliorate any negative impacts or enhance any positive impacts. We will also recommend areas where future research will be required to enhance the understanding of how land-use changes affect biodiversity.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Modelling the Landscape Scale Impacts of Biomass Crops on Biodiversity   (366k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2009

Cost: £158,748
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Warwick - HRI
Keywords
Agriculture and Climate Change              
Allocated - WHRI              
Bioenergy              
Biomass technologies              
Sustainable Farming and Food Science              
Fields of Study
Non-Food Crops