Impacts of increasing land use under energy crops

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Award: RES-227-25-0020
Policy and Practice Note
Project website
PI: Angela Karp, Centre for Bioenergy and Climate Change, Rothamsted Research
Dates: 01/01/2006 - 29/09/2009
 
Future policies are likely to encourage more land use under energy crops: principally willow, grown as short rotation coppice, and a tall exotic grass miscanthus. These crops will contribute to the UK’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions. However, it is not clear how decisions about appropriate areas for growing the crops, based on climate, soil and water, should be balanced against impacts on the landscape, social acceptance, biodiversity and the rural economy. This project integrates social, economic, hydrological and biodiversity studies in an interdisciplinary approach to develop a scientific framework for sustainability appraisal of the medium and long term conversion of land to energy crops.

Data created

GIS suitability maps for energy crops
GIS series of map layers, related to the potential suitability of land for energy crop planting

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Data type: Geospatial
Data format: ArcGIS
Sample size:
Country: United Kingdom
Status: Data released
Public attitudes to biomass crops
Public opinion questionnaire survey on the growing of biomass crops such as short rotation coppice willow and Miscanthus, using computer-generated landscape visualisations.

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Data type: Quantitative
Data format: SPSS;MS Excel
Sample size: 550 respondents
Country: United Kingdom
Status: Data released
Energy, water and local climate in biomass crop fields
Measurements of water and energy fluxes, soil moisture, canopy hight and local climate in Short Rotation Crop willow and Miscanthus fields.

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Data type: Quantitative
Data format: MS Excel;Oracle
Sample size: 2 sites
Country: United Kingdom
Status: Data released
Biomass crop biodiversity data
Species counts of plants, bees and butterflies, by sample point, by transect and by field, following the Farm Scale Evaluations methods, using repeatable sampling protocols, to enable direct comparison of biodiversity associated with energy crops, with biodiversity associated with arable crops.

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Data type: Quantitative
Data format: MS Excel
Sample size: 15 fields SRC willow, 17 fields Miscanthus
Country: United Kingdom
Status: Data released

Publications and outputs

Article (4)
Land use implications of increased biomass production identified by GIS-based suitability and yield mapping for Miscanthus in England
Andrew Lovett; Angela Karp; Andrew Riche; Gordon Dailey; Gisela Sünnenberg; Goetz Richter
13/01/2010

Public opinion on energy crops in the landscape : considerations for the expansion of renewable energy from biomass
Trudie Dockerty; Katy Appleton; Andrew Lovett
31/03/2012

Learning How to Deal with Values, Frames and Governance in Sustainability Appraisal
Alan J. Bond; Alison J. Haughton; Ian F. Shield; Andrew Lovett; Jon W. Finch; David A. Bohan; Trudie Dockerty; Andrew B. Riche; Rufus B. Sage; Martin M. Turner; Angela Karp
09/06/2013

A novel, integrated approach to assessing social, economic and environmental implications of changing rural land-use : a case study of perennial biomass crops
Alison Haughton; Suzanne Clark; Andrew Riche; Ian Shield; Gilla Sünnenberg; Martin Turner; Alan Bond; Trudie Dockerty; Rufus Sage; Andrew Lovett; Jon Finch; Angela Karp; Victoria Mallott; Mark Cunningham; Mark Mallott; David Bohan
13/01/2010

(1)
Social, economic and environmental implications of increasing rural land use under energy crops, 2006-2009
A. Karp
10/01/2011

Report (1)
Full research report
A. Karp
28/06/2010

Research summary (2)
Non-technical summary

28/06/2010

Non-technical summary
A. Karp; R. Sage; A. Bond; J. Finch; M. Turner; A. Lovett
28/06/2010

Book chapter (1)
Perennial energy crops : implications and potential
Angela Karp; Michael Winter; Matt Lobley
25/01/2010