Miscanthus biomass productivity within US croplands and its potential impact on soil organic carbon [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Science, 2012. and Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy
- Physical Description:
- pages 391-399 : digital, PDF file
- Additional Creators:
- Argonne National Laboratory, United States. Department of Energy. Office of Science, and United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Restrictions on Access:
- Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- Interest in bioenergy crops is increasing due to their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. Here, we combined process-based and geospatial models to estimate the potential biomass productivity of miscanthus and its potential impact on soil carbon stocks in the croplands of the continental United States. The optimum (climatic potential) rainfed productivity for field-dried miscanthus biomass ranged from 1 to 23 Mg biomass ha<sup>-1</sup> yr<sup>-1</sup>, with a spatial average of 13 Mg ha<sup>-1</sup> yr<sup>-1</sup> and a coefficient of variation of 30%. This variation resulted primarily from the spatial heterogeneity of effective rainfall, growing degree days, temperature, and solar radiation interception. Cultivating miscanthus would result in a soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration at the rate of 0.16–0.82 Mg C ha<sup>-1</sup> yr<sup>-1</sup> across the croplands due to cessation of tillage and increased biomass carbon input into the soil system. We identified about 81 million ha of cropland, primarily in the eastern United States, that could sustain economically viable (>10 Mg ha<sup>-1</sup> yr<sup>-1</sup>) production without supplemental irrigation, of which about 14 million ha would reach optimal miscanthus growth. To meet targets of the US Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 using miscanthus as feedstock, 19 million ha of cropland would be needed (spatial average 13 Mg ha<sup>-1</sup> yr<sup>-1</sup>) or about 16% less than is currently dedicated to US corn-based ethanol production.
- Published through SciTech Connect., 08/10/2012., "110021", Global Change Biology. Bioenergy 5 4 ISSN 1757-1693 AM, and Umakant Mishra; Margaret S. Torn; Kevin Fingerman.
- Funding Information:
- AC02-06CH11357 and AC02-05CH11231
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