As with all land transformation activities, effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services of producing feedstocks for biofuels are highly variable and context specific. Advances toward more sustainable biofuel production benefit from a system's perspective, recognizing spatial heterogeneity and scale, landscape-design principles, and addressing the influences of context such as the particular products and their distribution, policy background, stakeholder values, location, temporal influences, and baseline conditions. Deploying biofuels in a manner to reduce effects on biodiversity and associated ecosystem services can only be done with planning, monitoring, and appropriate goverance. The effects of biofuels can be avoided or reduced by conservation of priority biodiversity areas, recognizing the context specific effects of biofuels, and adopting location-specific management of production systems. Developing those management strategies takes time and effort.
Center for Bioenergy Sustainability, Oak Ridge National Laboratory