http://ecology.okstate.edu/Libra L. I. B. R. A. Laboratory for Innovative Biodiversity Research and Analysis Hay meadows: Biofuels for Biodiversity? Maize (corn) as a biofuel Do the energetics balance? Switchgrass has advantages over maize Locally adapted High genetic variation
L. I. B. R. A.
Laboratory for Innovative Biodiversity Research and Analysis
Biofuels for Biodiversity?
Do the energetics balance?
Vast acreages of hay meadows in the southern Great Plains are being abandoned, resulting in degraded systems of low value.
Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is the main species invading unmanaged grasslands
Cedar pollen causes severe allergy problems
(however, cedars have uses – and there are genuine old-growth cedar stands in Oklahoma)
to enhance biodiversity worldwide
Laeletu wooded meadow, Estonia
In many cases, the cuttings are considered waste.
Why not use them?
Mean species richness
Year of Sampling
Probably, using gasification techniques.
Biofuels may make control of exotic species such as Johnsongrass or sericea cost-effective.
Multi-use systems are possible: biofuels are potentially compatible with livestock, honey, wildlife (game and nongame), conservation, windfarms
Why not take advantage of this, and harvest the enhanced productivity?
These are minimal issues with native hay meadows
Basic and theoretical ecology can benefit from interest in grasslands as biofuels.
Note that geology, hydrology, physics and chemistry have all experienced major advances because of energy.
A need to decrease dependence of fossil fuels for environmental and geopolitical stability
+abandoned grasslands leading to environmental, health, and public safety problems+serious concerns about biofuel crops
=Let us use our grasslands as a source of biofuels, for a sustainable economy and environment