An Investigation of the Complex Interrelated Issues Associated with Generating Automotive Fuels From Lignocellulosic Biomass
Because they build open cup nests in which the number of eggs and success of the nest can be determined with considerable precision, birds provide an excellent focal taxonomic group for understanding the influence of landscape condition on biodiversity.
Any large-scale biomass production initiative would involve landscape change that could, in turn, influence bird productivity. Such changes in landscape cover type and pattern could alter critical demographic characteristics such as the annual production of offspring. Because areas of the upper Midwest have been identified as hosting potential source populations for many species of migratory birds, any significant change in landscape pattern must be carefully considered.
To survive and reproduce successfully, wildlife species have various habitat requirements.
Although these vary by species, there are a number of fundamental patterns that are
important to consider for any plant community managed as a feedstock for ethanol production.
This session provides an overview of the key resources needed by birds, mammals,
amphibians, reptiles, and arthropods and how those features can be retained or lost depending on the system used for growing plants for ethanol production.
Below is an image of the Henslow's Sparrow. Establishment of grasslands for biofuels may provide suitable habitat for species such as the Henslow's Sparrow that are threatened because of habitat loss.
(Photo: Max Henschell)