Skip to Main Content

The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Is bioenergy for the birds? An evaluation of alternative future bioenergy landscapes
Year: 2010
Author(s): Fargione, J.
Source Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Source Type: Journal
pages: 18745-18746
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Bioenergy production—either for fuels or electricity—is the most land intensive form of energy production. The consequences of increased demand for land associated with bioenergy crops initially gained attention because of the implications for carbon emissions associated with land clearing, but, more recently, the potential impacts of bioenergy’s land demand on biodiversity have gained increased attention. The study by Meehan et al. in PNAS provides a quantitative look at predicted landscapescale biodiversity impacts under alternative bioenergy cropping scenarios. Specifically, the authors predict impacts of either greatly expanded row crops or greatly expanded perennial grasses for bird communities in the Upper Midwest, making use of the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data to correlate bird species richness with landscape features at 265 sites across seven upper Midwestern states (Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio).