Biodiv Sci ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (2): 231-241.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13196

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Reviews of the effects of the cultivation of bioenergy plants on biodiversity

Lile Hu, Junsheng Li*(), Jianwu Luo, Wenhui Liu, Wei Wang   

  1. Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012
  • Received:2013-09-01 Accepted:2014-02-03 Online:2014-03-20 Published:2014-04-03
  • Contact: Li Junsheng

Abstract:

With the decrease in fossil fuel resources and the aggravation of global environmental problems, the global production of biomass energy has grown rapidly, and the cultivation area for bioenergy plants has increased. In this paper, we review the effects of the cultivation of bioenergy plants on biodiversity and proposed key measures and countermeasures for mitigating such effects to provide a scientific basis for the cultivation of bioenergy plants in China and for reducing their effects on biodiversity. The cultivation of bioenergy plants over large areas has directly or indirectly occupied large parts of natural or semi-natural ecosystems, leading to the deterioration and disappearance of natural habitats. Moreover, such changes easily cause the ecosystem to become simplified and change the structure and functions of the ecosystem, exacerbating non-point source pollution, facilitating invasions of alien species, and even increasing the risks posed by genetically modified organisms. To mitigate the effects on biodiversity produced by the cultivation of bioenergy plants, the government or the relevant agencies need to establish production management standards for the sustainable development of biomass energy and conduct reasonable planning to avoid the production of bioenergy plants in areas of rich biodiversity or in areas where biodiversity is vulnerable, to actively develop new technologies and change the efficiency of use of raw materials associated with biomass energy, and to strengthen production mode management and change traditional planting patterns.

Key words: bioenergy plants, habitat destruction, ecosystem, effect assessment, alien species invasion, planting patterns