Energy crops offer ecological advantages over fossil fuels by contributing to reduction of greenhouse gases and acidifying emissions. However, there could be ecological shortcomings related to the intensity of agricultural production. There is a risk of polluting water and air, losing soil quality, enhancing erosion and reducing biodiversity. In the scope of the project Optimization of perennial grasses for biomass production (OPTIMA), supported by the European Union, an environmental impact assessment study is being developed and applied to the production of potential perennial energy crops in Europe. The categories selected were: effects on the quality of soil and water (soil pH, soil organic matter, soil structure, erosion, emission of minerals and pesticides), use of resources (water, minerals), biological and landscape diversity. This work represents an overview on the information collected on the benefits and constraints of cultivating perennial crops in Europe. Overall information suggests that herbaceous perennial crops have an advantage over annual crop systems, namely regarding erodibility and biodiversity and some crop management options, such as pesticides and fertilizers inputs. However, site specific factors should be accurately assessed to evaluate the adequacy between crop and location.
|Titolo:||Perennial Grasses: Environmental Benefits and Constraints of its Cultivation in Europe|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2012|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|