Harvesting domestic fuel sources
Synonyms: Creating energy plantations
Growing biomass fuels
Producing woody biomass
Planting fuel crops
Context: The Response Strategies Working Group of the International Panel on Climate Change calls for a major development of biomass based fuels, such as 'energy plantations' on degraded agricultural land.
Implementation: Most research on fuelwood production in North America has concentrated on the simple coppice method, a highly productive but capital-intensive method that provides few of the benefits desired by landowners. In contrast to this maximum-yield approach are low-input woodland management methods that provide benefits consistent with a mix of landowner objectives, in particular systems of fuelwood production that also control soil erosion on marginal farmland and to provide high-quality wildlife habitat. From an energy perspective, the strategy is to sacrifice high productivity in favour of wider adoption of forestry practice, thereby compensating for the overall lower yields. Two such traditional European woodland management systems exist: (1) coppice with standards (related to the simple coppice method) in which the primary product is fuelwood from the coppice component, but some trees (the standards) are retained for multiple coppice rotations to provide timber, to sustain wildlife, and to provide aesthetic benefits; and (2) pasture with pollards, in which fuelwood-producing trees (the pollards) form a broken canopy above an herbaceous pasture layer. Pollards are much like coppiced trees except that regeneration occurs from the top of permanent trunks 8-12 feet tall, thereby preventing livestock from damaging young sprouts. Preliminary growth and yield data indicate that native trees in other continents can respond well to these methods.
Claim: The amount of land is limited and must also be used for other applications such as food production and guaranteeing biodiversity.
Subjects: EnergyBiosciences HouseholdsProductionCultivationCropsPlantations
Type Classification: D: Detailed strategies