Assessing the sustainability of bioenergy crops

We are one of a consortium of seven UK research institutes and universities that has been awarded a £3.28m project to examine the sustainability of bioenergy crops within the UK

News from Forest Research: July 2011

Taking measurements on agricultural land

The project is funded and commissioned by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and will produce a framework for predicting the ustainability of bioenergy deployment across the UK.

The Ecosystem Land Use Modelling and Soil Carbon GHG Flux Trial (ELUM) will study the impact of bioenergy crop land-use changes on soil carbon stocks and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The project will combine modelling, GHG flux assessments and mapping to underpin recommendations for the environmental efficiency of various bioenergy crops and management scenarios.

We will have specific responsibility for assessing the GHG balance during conversion of agricultural land to short-rotation orestry. The information gathered will inform UK forest policy and the wider land-use sector, and provide empirical evidence of the GHG balance from changing land management.

Our team is being led by Mike Perks and co-ordinated by Tor Stokes. “This project is timely research to which we are delighted to contribute scientific expertise and field sites” said Mike Perks. “The programme is ambitious and directed at an area of specific concern for land managers today. This project dovetails with Forestry Commission objectives for woodland expansion and energy forestry and will utilise existing UK trials.”

All data and models produced as part of this work will eventually be made freely available to researchers and the wider community.

More information on Forestry Commission short-rotation forestry trials.

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This and other news stories can be found in the Summer 2011 issue of FR News, our online newsletter.