The objective of this research project was to assess whether standard forestry best management practices (BMPs) are sufficient to protect stream water quality from intensive silviculture associated with short-rotation woody crop (SRWC) production for bioenergy. Forestry BMPs are designed to prevent the movement of deleterious quantities of nutrients, herbicides, sediments, and thermal energy (sunlight hitting stream channels) from clear-cuts and plantations to surface waters.
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This is a joint report between three national labs, ORNL, INL, and ANL, that describes outcomes from a workshop. The Bioenergy Solutions to Gulf Hypoxia Workshop gathered stakeholders from industry, academia, national laboratories, and U.S. federal agencies to discuss how biomass feedstocks could help decrease nutrient loadings to the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), a root cause of the large hypoxic zone that forms each summer.
Synthesis manuscript for an Ecology & Society Special Feature on Telecoupling: A New Frontier for Global Sustainability
Simulated Response of Avian Biodiversity to Biomass Production. 2017. Chapter 10 in R.A. Efroymson et al. eds., 2016 Billion-Ton Report: Advancing Domestic Resources for a Thriving Bioeconomy, Volume 2: Environmental Sustainability Effects of Select Scenarios from Volume 1. ORNL/TM-2016/727. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, pp.140-182. DOI: 10.2172/1338837, https://energy.gov/eere/bioenergy/downloads/2016-billion-ton-report-vol…
Jager, H. I., M. Wu, M. Ha, L. Baskaran and J. Krieg. 2017. Water Quality Responses to Simulated Management Practices on Agricultural Lands Producing Biomass Feedstocks in Two Tributary Basins of the Mississippi River, in R.A. Efroymson et al. eds., 2016 Billion-Ton Report: Advancing Domestic Resources for a Thriving Bioeconomy, Volume 2: Environmental Sustainability Effects of Select Scenarios from Volume 1. ORNL/TM-2016/727. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, pp.140-182.
With the goal of understanding environmental effects of a growing bioeconomy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), national laboratories, and U.S. Forest Service research laboratories, together with academic and industry collaborators, undertook a study to estimate environmental effects of potential biomass production scenarios in the United States, with an emphasis on agricultural and forest biomass. Potential effects investigated include changes in soil organic carbon (SOC), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water quality and quantity, air emissions, and biodiversity.
This article connects the science of sustainability theory with applied aspects of sustainability deployment. A suite of 35 sustainability indicators spanning 12 environmental and socioeconomic categories has been proposed for comparing the sustainability of bioenergy production systems across different feedstock types and locations.
The paper describes an approach to landscape design that focuses on integrating bioenergy production with other components of environmental, social and economic systems. Landscape design as used here refers to a spatially explicit, collaborative plan for management of landscapes and supply chains. Landscape design can involve multiple scales and build on existing practices to reduce costs or enhance services.
One approach to assessing progress towards sustainability makes use of multiple indicators spanning the
environmental, social, and economic dimensions of the system being studied. Diverse indicators have different
units of measurement, and normalization is the procedure employed to transform differing indicator
measures onto similar scales or to unit-free measures. Given the inherent complexity entailed in interpreting
information related to multiple indicators, normalization and aggregation of sustainability indicators
Abstract: Cellulosic-based biofuels are needed to help meet energy needs and to strengthen rural investment and development in the midwestern United States (US). This analysis identifies 11 categories of indicators to measure progress toward sustainability that should be monitored to determine if ecosystem and social services are being maintained, enhanced, or disrupted by production, harvest, storage, and transport of cellulosic feedstock.