BioEnergy Research

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 621–635 | Cite as

Assessing Environmental Impacts of Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) Expansion: Model Definition and Preliminary Results

  • Hans Langeveld
  • Foluke Quist-Wessel
  • Ioannis Dimitriou
  • Pär Aronsson
  • Christel Baum
  • Ulrich Schulz
  • Andreas Bolte
  • Sarah Baum
  • Jörg Köhn
  • Martin Weih
  • Holger Gruss
  • Peter Leinweber
  • Norbert Lamersdorf
  • Paul Schmidt-Walter
  • Göran Berndes


Short rotation coppice (SRC) systems can play a role as feedstock for bioenergy supply contributing to EU energy and climate policy targets. A scenario depicting intensive arable crop cultivation in a homogeneous landscape (lacking habitat structures) was compared to a scenario including SRC cultivation on 20 % of arable land. A range of indicators was selected to assess the consequences of SRC on soil, water and biodiversity, using data from the Rating-SRC project (Sweden and Germany). The results of the assessment were presented using spider diagrams. Establishment and use of SRC for bioenergy has both positive and negative effects. The former include increased carbon sequestration and reduced GHG emissions as well as reduced soil erosion, groundwater nitrate and surface runoff. SRC can be used in phytoremediation and improves plant and breeding bird biodiversity (exceptions: grassland and arable land species) but should not be applied in dry areas or on soils high in toxic trace elements (exception: cadmium). The scenario-based analysis was found useful for studying the consequences of SRC cultivation at larger scales. Limitations of the approach are related to data requirements and compatibility and its restricted ability to cover spatial diversity and dynamic processes. The findings should not be generalised beyond the representativeness of the data used.


Biodiversity Bioenergy Short rotation coppice Soil quality Sustainability indicators Water quality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Langeveld
    • 1
  • Foluke Quist-Wessel
    • 1
  • Ioannis Dimitriou
    • 2
  • Pär Aronsson
    • 2
  • Christel Baum
    • 3
  • Ulrich Schulz
    • 4
  • Andreas Bolte
    • 5
    • 6
  • Sarah Baum
    • 5
    • 6
  • Jörg Köhn
    • 7
  • Martin Weih
    • 2
  • Holger Gruss
    • 4
  • Peter Leinweber
    • 3
  • Norbert Lamersdorf
    • 8
  • Paul Schmidt-Walter
    • 8
  • Göran Berndes
    • 9
  1. 1.Biomass ResearchWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Crop Production EcologySwedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)UppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Chair of Soil Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental SciencesUniversity of RostockRostockGermany
  4. 4.Faculty of Landscape Management and Nature ConservationUniversity of Applied Sciences Eberswalde (HNEE)EberswaldeGermany
  5. 5.Institute for Forest Ecology and Forest InventoryJohann Heinrich von Thünen-Institute (vTI)EberswaldeGermany
  6. 6.Department of Silviculture and Forest Ecology of Temperate ZonesGeorg-August-University GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  7. 7.Beckmann-Institute for Bio-Based Product Lines (BIOP)HeiligenhagenGermany
  8. 8.Soil Science of Temperate Ecosystems, Büsgen-InstituteGeorg-August-Universität GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  9. 9.Department of Energy and EnvironmentChalmers University of TechnologyGöteborgSweden

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