BioEnergy Research

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 471–481 | Cite as

Bioenergy Feedstocks at Low Risk for Invasion in the USA: a “White List” Approach

  • Lauren D. Quinn
  • Doria R. Gordon
  • Aviva Glaser
  • Deah Lieurance
  • S. Luke Flory
Article

Abstract

Proposed introductions of non-native bioenergy feedstocks have resulted in disagreements among industry, regulators, and environmental groups over unintended consequences, including invasion. Attempting to ban or “black list” known or high probability invasive species creates roadblocks without offering clear alternatives to industry representatives wishing to choose low invasion risk feedstocks. Therefore, a “white list” approach may offer a proactive policy solution for federal and state agencies seeking to incentivize the cultivation of promising new feedstocks without increasing the probability of non-native plant invasions in natural systems. We assessed 120 potential bioenergy feedstock taxa using weed risk assessment tools and generated a white list of 25 non-native taxa and 24 native taxa of low invasion risk in the continental USA. The list contains feedstocks that can be grown across various geographic regions in the USA and converted to a wide variety of fuel types. Although the white list is not exhaustive and will change over time as new plants are developed for bioenergy, the list and the methods used to create it should be immediately useful for breeders, regulators, and industry representatives as they seek to find common ground in selecting feedstocks.

Keywords

Biofuel Energy crop Invasive plant Weed risk assessment White list 

References

  1. 1.
    Heaton EA, Dohleman FG, Long SP (2008) Meeting US biofuel goals with less land: the potential of Miscanthus. Glob Chang Biol 14:2000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Raghu S et al (2006) Adding biofuels to the invasive species fire? Science 313:1742CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cousens R (2008) Risk assessment of potential biofuel species: an application for trait-based models for predicting weediness? Weed Sci 56:873CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    ISAC (2009) Biofuels: cultivating energy, not invasive species, National Invasive Species Council, Available at URL: http://www.invasivespecies.gov/global/ISAC/ISAC_whitepapers.html. Accessed 11 January 2012
  5. 5.
    Lockwood JL, Cassey P, Blackburn T (2005) The role of propagule pressure in explaining species invasions. Trends Ecol Evol 20:223CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Barney JN, DiTomaso JM (2008) Nonnative species and bioenergy: are we cultivating the next invader? Bioscience 58:64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Buddenhagen CE, Chimera C, Clifford P (2009) Assessing biofuel crop invasiveness: a case study. PLoS One 4:e5261CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gordon DR, Tancig KJ, Onderdonk DA, Gantz CA (2011) Assessing the invasive potential of biofuel species proposed for Florida and the United States using the Australian Weed Risk Assessment. Biomass Bioenergy 35:74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gordon DR, Flory SL, Cooper AL, Morris SK (2012) Assessing the invasion risk of eucalyptus in the United States using the Australian weed risk assessment. Int J For Res 2012:1Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Glaser A, Glick P (2012) Growing risk: addressing the invasive potential of bioenergy feedstocks. National Wildlife Federation, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    GISP (2007) Assessing the risk of invasive alien species promoted for biofuels. Global Invasive Species Programme white paper. Available at http://www.gisp.org/whatsnew/docs/biofuels.pdf. Accessed 20 June 2012
  12. 12.
    Simberloff D (2008) Invasion biologists and the biofuels boom: cassandras or colleagues? Weed Sci 56:867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Foster JM (2012) Invasive grasses as biofuel? scientists protest. The New York Times Green Blog Available online at http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/invasive-grasses-as-biofuel-scientists-protest/. Accessed 21 May 2013
  14. 14.
    Mack RN et al (2000) Biotic invasions: causes, epidemiology, global consequences, and control. Ecol Appl 10:689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gordon DR, Thomas KP (1997) In: Simberloff D, Schmitz DC, Brown TC (eds) Strangers in paradise: impact and management of nonindigenous species in Florida. Island Press, Washington, pp 21–37Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hulme PE et al (2008) Grasping at the routes of biological invasions: a framework for integrating pathways into policy. J Appl Ecol 45:403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hulme PE (2011) Addressing the threat to biodiversity from botanic gardens. Trends Ecol Evol 26:168CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Reichard SH (1997) Prevention of invasive plant introductions on national and local levels. In: Luken J, Thieret J (eds) Assessment and management of plant invasions. Springer, New York, pp 215–222Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Reichard SH, White P (2001) Horticulture as a pathway of invasive plant introductions in the United States. Bioscience 51:103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pimentel D, Zuniga R, Morrison D (2005) Update on the environmental and economic costs associated with alien-invasive species in the United States. Ecol Econ 52:273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Wilcove DS, Rothstein D, Dubow J, Phillips A, Losos E (1998) Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the United States. Bioscience 48:607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Federal Register (2013) Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Additional Qualifying Renewable Fuel Pathways Under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program; Final Rule Approving Renewable Fuel Pathways for Giant Reed (Arundo donax) and Napier Grass (Pennisetum purpureum). July 11, 2013. 78, 41703Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lewis KC, Porter RD (2014) Global approaches to addressing biofuel-related invasive species risks and incorporation into U.S. laws and policies. Ecol Monogr 84:171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Endres AB, McCubbins JSN, Quinn LD (2012) Definitional debates and uncertainty for would-be biofuel producers. Farm Doc Daily Available online: http://www.farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/2012/05/definitional_debates_and_uncer.html. Accessed 9 July 2013
  25. 25.
    Quinn LD et al Resolving regulatory uncertainty: legislative language for potentially invasive bioenergy feedstocks. GCB Bioenergy, (In Press)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    IUCN (2009) Guidelines on biofuels and invasive species. IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), Gland, p 20Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    McCubbins JSN, Endres AB, Quinn L, Barney JN (2013) Frayed seams in the “patchwork quilt” of American federalism: an empirical analysis of invasive plant species regulation. Environ Law 43:35Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Quinn LD, Barney JN, McCubbins JSN, Endres AB (2013) Navigating the “noxious” and “invasive” regulatory landscape: suggestion for improved regulation. Bioscience 63:124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Low T, Booth C (2008) The weedy truth about biofuels. The Invasive Species Council, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    DiTomaso JM, Barney JN, Fox AM (2007) Biofuel feedstocks: the risk of future invasions. CAST Commentary QTA 2007-1. The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), AmesGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Sanford SD et al (2009) Feedstock and biodiesel characteristics report. Renewable Energy Group, Inc., http://www.regfuel.com
  32. 32.
    Halford NG, Karp A (2010) Energy crops. Royal Society of Chemistry, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    DiTomaso JM et al (2010) Biofuel vs bioinvasion: seeding policy priorities. Environ Sci Technol 44:6906CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Quinn LD, Allen DJ, Stewart JR (2010) Invasiveness potential of Miscanthus sinensis: implications for bioenergy production in the U.S. GCB Bioenergy 2:310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Smith JE, Hunter CL, Smith CM (2002) Distribution and reproductive characteristics of nonindigenous and invasive marine algae in the Hawaiian Islands. Pac Sci 56:299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Snow AA, Smith VH (2012) Genetically engineered algae for biofuels: a key role for ecologists. Bio Sci 62:765Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    National Research Council (2012) Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels in the United States. The National Academies Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    PIER (2013) US Forest Service, Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER). Online resource at http://www.hear.org/pier/. Accessed 16 April 2013
  39. 39.
    IFAS Invasive Plant Working Group (2013) IFAS Assessment of non-native plants in Florida’s natural areas. Available at http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/assessment/, Accessed 1 February 2014
  40. 40.
    National Weeds Management Facilitator (2013) Australian National Weed Risk Assessment Database. Available at http://www.weeds.org.au/riskassessment.htm. Accessed 1 May 2013
  41. 41.
    Barney JN, DiTomaso JM (2010) Bioclimatic predictions of habitat suitability for the biofuel switchgrass in North America under current and future climate scenarios. Biomass Bioenergy 34:124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Barney JN, DiTomaso JM (2011) Global climate niche estimates for bioenergy crops and invasive species of agronomic origin: potential problems and opportunities. PLoS One 6:e17222CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Matlaga DP, Schutte BJ, Davis AS (2012) Age-dependent demographic rates of the bioenergy crop Miscanthus × giganteus in Illinois. Invasive Plant Sci Manag 5:238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Matlaga DP, Davis AS (2013) Minimizing invasive potential of Miscanthus × giganteus grown for bioenergy: identifying demographic thresholds for population growth and spread. J Appl Ecol 50:479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Gordon DR, Onderdonk DA, Fox AM, Stocker RK (2008) Consistent accuracy of the Australian Weed Risk Assessment system across varied geographies. Divers Distrib 14:234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Pheloung PC, Williams PA, Halloy SR (1999) A weed risk assessment model for use as a biosecurity tool evaluating plant introductions. J Environ Manag 57:239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Chong KY, Corlett RT, Yeo DCJ, Tan HTW (2011) Towards a global database of weed risk assessments: a test of transferability for the tropics. Biol Invasions 13:1571CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Daehler CC, Denslow JS, Ansari S, Kuo H-C (2004) A risk-assessment system for screening out invasive pest plants from Hawaii and other Pacific Islands. Conserv Biol 8:360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Onderdonk DA, Gordon DR, Fox AM, Stocker RK (2010) Lessons learned from testing the Australian weed risk assessment system: the devil is in the details. Plant Prot Q 25:79Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Simberloff D, Souza L, Nuñez MA, Barrios-Garcia MN, Bunn W (2011) The natives are restless, but not often and mostly when disturbed. Ecology 93:598CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    USDA APHIS (2010) Federal Noxious Weed List. Available online: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/weeds/downloads/weedlist.pdf. Accessed 24 February 2014
  52. 52.
    Rockwood DL, Rudie AW, Ralph SA, Zhu JY, Winandy JE (2008) Energy product options for Eucalyptus species grown as short rotation woody crops. Int J Mol Sci 9:1361CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Sinche M, Kannan B, Corsato C, Altpeter F (2013) Breeding of Elephantgrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum.) for Improved Biomass/Biofuel Yield and Enhanced Biosafety. American Society of America (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) International Annual Meetings: Water, Food, Energy & Innovation for a Sustainable World. Tampa, FL, pp. 88Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Kannan B, Valencia E, Altpeter F (2013) Interspecific hybridization between elephantgrass and pearl millet and selection of hybrids with high-biomass production and enhanced biosafety. American Society of America (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) International Annual Meetings: Water, Food, Energy & Innovation for a Sustainable World. Tampa, FL, pp. 165Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Barney JN, Smith LL, Tekiela DR (2014) Using weed risk assessments to parse the weeds from the crops. In: Quinn LD, Matlaga DP and Barney JN (eds.) Bioenergy and Biological Invasions: Ecological, Agronomic and Policy Perspectives on Minimising Risk. CABI Oxfordshire, UKGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Andersson MS, de Vicente MC (2010) Gene flow between crops and their wild relatives. The Johns Hopkins University Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Davis AS et al (2010) Screening bioenergy feedstock crops to mitigate invasion risk. Front Ecol Environ 8:533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Davis MA et al (2011) Don’t judge species on their origins. Nature 474:153CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    USDA NRCS (2013) (National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA)Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Carey MP, Sanderson BL, Barnas KA, Olden JD (2012) Native invaders—challenges for science, management, policy, and society. Front Ecol Environ 10:373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Simberloff D (2011) Native invaders. In: Simberloff D, Rejmanek M (eds) Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions. University of California Press, Los Angeles, CAGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Rejmanek M, Richardson DM (1996) What attributes make some plant species more invasive? Ecology 77:1655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    McGregor K, Watt M, Hulme P, Duncan R (2012) How robust is the Australian Weed Risk Assessment protocol? A test using pine invasions in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Biol Invasions 14:987CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Dougherty RF (2013) Ecology and niche characterization of the invasive ornamental grass Miscanthus sinensis. Master’s Thesis. Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, & Weed Science. Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VAGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Anderson NO, Gomez N, Galatowitsch SM (2006) A non-invasive crop ideotype to reduce invasive potential. Euphytica 148:185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    USDA Farm Service Agency (2011) Proposed BCAP giant Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus) establishment and production in Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania: environmental assessment. USDA Biomass Crop Assistance Program pp 321Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    RSB (2013) RSB principles & criteria for sustainable biofuel production. Round table on sustainable biomaterials. RSB reference code: [RSB-STD-01-001 (Version 2.0)] Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Barney JN (2012) Best management practices for bioenergy crops: reducing the invasion risk. Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication PPWS-8PGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Federal Register (1999) Executive Order 13112 of February 3, 1999: Invasive Species. Available at: http://www.invasivespecies.gov/home_documents/EO%2013112.pdf
  70. 70.
    USDA APHIS (2012) Weed risk assessment for Arundo donax L. (Poaceae)—Giant reed. (Plant Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Laboratory. Plant Protection and Quarantine program of USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Available at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/weeds/downloads/wra/Arundo_donax_WRA.pdf Accessed 26 June 2014, Raleigh, NC
  71. 71.
    Goolsby JA, Moran P (2009) Host range of Tetramesa romana Walker (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae), a potential biological control agent of giant reed, Arundo donax L in North America. Biol Control 49:160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Dvorak W (2012) Water use in plantations of Eucalypts and pines: a discussion paper from a tree breeding perspective. Int For Rev 14:110Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Richardson DM (1998) Forestry trees as invasive aliens. Conserv Biol 12:18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Crosti R, Cascone C, Cipollaro S (2010) Use of a weed risk assessment for the Mediterranean region of Central Italy to prevent loss of functionality and biodiversity in agro-ecosystems. Biol Invasions 12:1607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Dawson W, Burslem D, Hulme PE (2009) The suitability of weed risk assessment as a conservation tool to identify invasive plant threats in East African rainforests. Biol Conserv 142:1018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Gordon DR, Onderdonk DA, Fox AM, Stocker RK, Gantz C (2008) Predicting invasive plants in Florida using the Australian Weed Risk Assessment. Invasive Plant Sci Manag 1:178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    HPWRA (2014) Hawaii Pacific Weed Risk Assessment database. Online resource at https://sites.google.com/site/weedriskassessment/assessments. Accessed 24 February 2014
  78. 78.
    Kato H, Hata K, Yamamoto H, Yoshioka T (2006) Effectiveness of the weed risk assessment system for the Bonin Islands. In: Koike F, Clout MN, Kawamichi M, et al. (eds.) Assessment and Control of Biological Invasion Risk. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, pp. 65–72.Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Krivanek M, Pysek P (2006) Predicting invasions by woody species in a temperate zone: a test of three risk assessment schemes in the Czech Republic (Central Europe). Divers Distrib 12:319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Randall R, Lonsdale WM, Cooke D (2013) Australian dataset, Pacific Island ecosystems at risk. Available at: http://www.hear.org/Pier/wra.htm Accessed 19 August 2013

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren D. Quinn
    • 1
  • Doria R. Gordon
    • 2
  • Aviva Glaser
    • 3
  • Deah Lieurance
    • 4
  • S. Luke Flory
    • 5
  1. 1.Energy Biosciences InstituteUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.The Nature Conservancy, Department of BiologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.National Wildlife FederationWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Center for Aquatic and Invasive PlantsUniversity of Florida/IFASGainesvilleUSA
  5. 5.Agronomy DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations