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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Carbon-negative biofuels from low-input high-diversity grassland biomass
Year: 2006
Author(s): Tilman, D., Hill, J., Lehman, C.
Source Title: Science
Source Type: Journal
pages: 1598-1600
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Biofuels derived from low-input high-diversity (LIHD) mixtures of native grassland perennials can provide more usable energy, greater greenhouse gas reductions, and less agrichemical pollution per hectare than can corn grain ethanol or soybean biodiesel. High-diversity grasslands had increasingly higher bioenergy yields that were 238% greater than monoculture yields after a decade. LIHD biofuels are carbon negative because net ecosystem carbon dioxide sequestration (4.4 megagram hectare(-1) year(-1) of carbon dioxide in soil and roots) exceeds fossil carbon dioxide release during biofuel production (0.32 megagram hectare(-1) year(-1)). Moreover, LIHD biofuels can be produced on agriculturally degraded lands and thus need to neither displace food production nor cause loss of biodiversity via habitat destruction.