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Ecosystem Service Benefits And Trade-offs-selecting Tree Species In Denmark For Bioenergy Production.

E. Santha, N. S. Bentsen
Published 2020 · Environmental Science

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Research highlights: The study enabled us to quantitatively assess ecosystem benefits and trade-offs, to characterize species as generalists or specialists, and findings suggest that producing biomass for energy is more likely to serve multiple objectives if it is implemented in an integrated production system. Background and Objectives: Biomass is one of the main and largest sources of renewable energy. In Denmark, the production of biomass for energy is mainly based on timber harvest residues from pre-commercial thinning of forest stands. However, there is an increasing demand for bioenergy that require biomass to be grown specifically for energy purposes even though the sustainability and climate change mitigation potential of bioenergy plantations have recently been questioned in terms of food production, land use, land use change and terrestrial carbon cycles. The overall objective of the research is to better understand the opportunities and trade-offs between different woody and non-woody energy crops. Material and Methods: This study assessed the ecosystem services of seven woody species and one perennial along a management intensity continuum with a main focus on bioenergy production. Results: Results of the analysis showed that there are complex interrelations between ecosystem services and significant differences between species in providing those services. Conclusions: Species with a highest energy benefit among assessed species were poplar and grand fir, while beech and oak proved the best in providing biodiversity benefits.
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