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Reducing dependence on fossil‐based energy has raised interest in biofuels as a potential energy source, but concerns have been raised about potential implications for water quality. These effects may vary regionally depending on the biomass feedstocks and changes in land management. Here, we focused on the Tennessee River Basin (TRB), USA. According to the recent 2016 Billion‐Ton Report (BT16) by the US Department of Energy, under two future scenarios (base‐case and high‐yield), three perennial feedstocks show high potential for growing profitably in the TRB: switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus), and willow (Salix spp.). We used the Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to compare hydrology and water quality for a current landscape with those simulated for two future BT16 landscapes. We combined publicly available temporal and geospatial datasets with local land and water management information to realistically represent physical characteristics of the watershed. We developed a new autocalibration tool (SWATopt) to calibrate and evaluate SWAT in the TRB with reservoir operations, including comparison against synthetic and intermediate response variables derived from gage measurements. Our spatiotemporal evaluation enables to more realistically simulate the current situation, which gives us more confidence to project the effects of land‐use changes on water quality. Under both future BT16 scenarios, simulated nitrate and total nitrogen loadings and concentrations were greatly reduced relative to the current landscape, whereas runoff, sediment, and phosphorus showed only small changes. Difference between simulated water results for the two future scenarios was small. The influence of biomass production on water quantity and quality depended on the crop, area planted, and management practices, as well as on site‐specific characteristics. These results offer hope that bioenergy production in the TRB could help to protect the region's rivers from nitrogen pollution by providing a market for perennial crops with low nutrient input requirements.

Contact Phone
Publication Year
Project Title
Visualizing Ecosystem Service Portfolios of Agricultural and Forested Biomass Production
Organization
Lab
Contact Email
jagerhi@ornl.gov
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12537
Contact Person
Henriette Jager
Contact Organization
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Bioenergy Category
Author(s)
Wang, Gangsheng , Jager, Henriette
WBS Project Number
4.2.1.40
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

Price Scenarios at $54 and $119 were simulated for Switchgrass, Miscanthus and Willow production from 2017 to 2040. These analyses were used in Woodbury, Peter B., et al. 2018. "Improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay using payments for ecosystem services for perennial biomass for bioenergy and biofuel production." Biomass and Bioenergy 114:132-142. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2017.01.024.

Contact Phone
Usage Policy
Any use of this data should cite associated DOI.
Publication Year
Organization
Lab
Contact Email
davismr@ornl.gov
DOI
10.11578/1468424
Data Source
Internal Simulations using POLYSYS
Contact Person
Maggie Davis
Contact Organization
ORNL
Author(s)
Maggie R. Davis

In 2013 a series of meetings was held across the US with each of the Sun Grant Regional Feedstock Partnership crop teams and the resource assessment team, led by the Oregon State University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to review, standardize, and verify energy crop yield trials from 2007-2012 and assimilate their outcomes into a national model of biomass yield suitability. The meetings provided a way to “ground truth” yield estimates in order to accurately capture interactions of climate and soils for dedicated energy crops, including energycane, upland and lowland switchgrass, biomass sorghum, CRP grasses, hybrid poplar, willow, pine, and miscanthus x giganteus (in 2014). The verification of yield data included generating a standardized set of management assumptions for each crop and summarizing site potential yield according to the agreed cultural practices to establish, manage, and harvest each crop. From these sets of funded trials and historical data, yield was estimated across spatial gradients according to soil characteristics and climate history at a 2-week interval. The resulting national grids provide critical information for policymakers and planners of the potential productivity of these pre-commercial crops. This document summarizes the crop model and county-level results from the mapping activities (draft of document, July 31, 2014)

Contact Email
eatonlm@ornl.gov
Contact Person
Laurence Eaton
Contact Organization
ORNL
Bioenergy Category

This document provides presentation style maps of potential crop yield of dedicated bioenergy crops from the publication "Productivity Potential of Bioenergy Crops from the Sun Grant Regional Feedstock Partnership." 2013. Eaton, Laurence, Chris Daly, Mike Halbleib, Vance Owens, Bryce Stokes. ORNL/TM-2013/574.

Abstract:
In 2013 a series of meetings was held across the US with each of the crop teams and the resource assessment team, led by the Oregon State University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to review, standardize, and verify yield trials from 2007-2012 crop years and assimilate their outcomes into a national model of biomass yield suitability. The meetings provided a way to “ground truth” yield estimates in order to accurately capture interactions of climate and soils for dedicated energy crops, including switchgrass, energycane, biomass sorghum, CRP grasses, miscanthus x giganteus, hybrid poplar, willow, and pine. The verification of yield data included generating a standardized set of management assumptions for each crop and summarizing site potential yield according to the agreed cultural practices to establish, manage, and harvest each crop. From these sets of funded trials and historical data, yield was estimated across spatial gradients according to soil characteristics and climate history at a 2-week interval. The resulting national grids provide critical information for policymakers and planners of the potential productivity of these pre-commercial crops.

Contact Email
Eatonlm@ornl.gov
Attachment
Contact Person
Laurence Eaton
Contact Organization
ORNL
Bioenergy Category
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.
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