Likely Effects Of Biofuels On Biodiversity An Environmental Sciences

1st coevals biofuels, the feedstocks are besides used as nutrient harvests and are chiefly used to bring forth biodiesel and bioethanol. These biofuels are straight produced and processed easy from the biofuel harvests or workss such as rapeseed, sunflower, sugar cane, maize etc.

The 2nd coevals biofuels are generated from works lignocellulosic stuff. Bioethanol is generated by treating the lignocellulosic works stuff. Many perennial grasses, poplar, willow, forestry, agricultural waste merchandises etc are besides used to bring forth this 2nd coevals biofuels.

The 3rd coevals biofuels are produced from algae which might non vie with nutrient harvests, doing it really feasible and more promising to be used. But the 2nd coevals and largely the 3rd coevals is non yet commercially feasible as the engineering is good advance and it is still undergoing development ( Biemans et al. , 2008 ) .

This essay will be looking at the likely effects or impact of biofuels on biodiversity viz. the impact on home ground, impact on C segregation, impact on H2O quality and measure, impact of increased chemical usage, and impact of forestry and agricultural waste on biodiversity.

This essay will besides briefly expression at a instance survey of biofuel impact in Netherlands.

Biofuel likely effects on biodiversity

The addition in biofuel demand and usage has lead to several environmental impacts that might ensue in either negative or positive impacts on biodiversity. Biofuels can positively impact as a sustainable renewable beginning of energy, depending on its production technique, and can besides hold a negative impact, depending on the sustainability of its development.

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Bioefuel has a positive potency for cleaner fuels, and greater possibility for economic growing for rural communities and for husbandmans ( Pimentel and Patzek, 2007 ) .

The major impact of biofuel on biodiversity is land-use alteration ( Koh, 2007 ) , and in state of affairs where biofuel will supply major part of planetary energy, this will countervail the possible extenuation of clime alteration due to decrease in green house gas emanation, by infringing extra lands to bring forth biofuel.

Biofuel feedstocks picks, cultivation patterns, and the type of land that it is grown on, will find the positive or negative impact on biodiversity ( UNEP, 2008 ) .

Impact on Habitat

Crops grown in deforested country or degraded lands with decreased dirt cultivated land and agricultural inputs to supply feedstock for biofuel production could potentially impact biodiversity positively by reconstructing home ground and ecosystem map ( Cook and Beyea, 2000 ) . Turning perennial species for biofuel feedstocks besides have positive biodiversity impact than one-year monoculture planting, as some works or harvest rotary motion for biofuel feedstock can be good for some works species, butterfly, birds and some beings etc ( Cook and Beyea, 2000 ) .

The most important cause for negative biodiversity impact globally is Habitat loss ( MEA, 2005 ) , and this could happen as a consequence of biofuel feedstocks production replacing other land utilizations, making negative impact on biodiversity. The addition in feedstock production could be affected indirectly taking to extension usage of land, this is seen in the instance where addition in maize monetary values for illustration in US has lead to husbandmans exchanging more land area of land from other harvest land usage to the cultivation of more maize ( Pimentel et al. , 2009 ) or direct extensions of cultivated countries which further additions habitat loss.

For illustration, forested countries, peatlands, grasslands and wetland can be encroached for biofuel feedstock production. This can be seen in South-East Asia, where addition in demand for palm oil for the production of biodiesel has lead to a monolithic and extended deforestation, seting force per unit area on designated preservation countries ( Koh, 2007 ) . Besides in Brazil, demands for addition in the production of soy bean and sugar cane for biofuel has lead to monolithic loss of biodiversity in Cerrado and the Amazon rain forest ( Costa et al. , 2007 ) .

Impact on Carbon Sequestration

Land-use alteration due to biofuel feedstock harvest can besides act upon C dioxide emanation ( Searchinger et al. , 2008 ) . For illustration feedstock plantation for bioenergy on debauched land could increase the segregation of C, extenuating the planetary heating impact due to climate alteration ( Tilman et al. , 2006 ) .

However, where big root of the perennial feedstock species for biofuel still remains in the dirt after crop, the sum of C in the dirt might be increased as a consequence of excess C being released from the roots to the dirt.

The usage of sustainable agricultural patterns and high diverseness harvest rotary motion systems on debauched land can besides increase C segregation as a consequence of increasing dirt organic affair ( Tilman et al. , 2006 ) .

Similarly, biofuels generated from waste and residues merchandises could hold no negative important impact on biodiversity and clime alteration as land usage alteration is non required for the production of the feedstock ( Searchinger et al. , 2008 ) .

Biofuel feedstock plantation established on C rich dirt or forested land will greatly negate and out weigh the cleaner fuel from biofuel generated utilizing sustainable production by let go ofing monolithic nursery gases breathing as a consequence of land-use alteration and feedstock production.

Procedures affecting drainage of peatlands, wetlands and glade of lands by fire for biofuel feedstock plantation can be destructive with respect to air quality and nursery gas emanations ( Righelato and Spracklen, 2007 ) . For illustration in south-east Asia, due to high demand in palm oil production, peatlands has besides been drained to run into the mark and as a consequence, it has been estimated that up to 100 metric tons of carbon-dioxide are releases in a twelvemonth per hectare and firing the peatlands doubles or three-base hits this value ( Righelato and Spracklen, 2007 ) , negatively impacting both below-ground and above biodiversity.

In south-east Asia, United States and Brazil, it has been found through surveies that change overing peatlands, rain forests and grasslands for the plantation of crop-based biofuel feedstocks ( 1st coevals feedstocks ) table.1, creates carbon debt by bring forthing carbon-dioxide 17- 420 times more than the nursery gas one-year decreases derived by replacing dodo fuel usage with biofuels ( Fargione et al, 2008 ) .

Water Quality and Quantity Impact

Bioenergy harvest productions besides have impacts on H2O quality and handiness. Surveies have shown that biofuel feedstock production most particularly harvest feedstocks or first coevals biofuel feedstocks ( table.1 ) impact H2O resources negatively ( Berndes, 2002 ) . For illustration biofuel harvests like sugar cane, oil thenar, maize etc requires big sum of H2O for its productiveness and other biofuel feedstock harvests with greater water-use productiveness such as coconut and sugar Beta vulgaris can set force per unit area on the H2O tabular array ( Shepard, 2006 ) .

There are besides instances of terrible H2O pollution, destructing aquatic life due to increases cultivation and production of biofuel feedstock. In 2007, the planetary nature fund named the Pantanal in Brazil the & A ; acirc ; ˆ?threatened lake of the twelvemonth 2007 & A ; acirc ; ˆA? due to H2O run outing from soya bean Fieldss, cultivated at the catchments of this lake as a consequence of increased demand and cultivation of biofuel feedstock ( Global Nature Fund, 2007 )

In Malaysia every bit good, Palm Oil Mill Effluent ( POME ) , residue of biofuel processing from palm oil is the major pollutant discharge into the Malayan rivers ( Ahmad et al. , 2006 ) .

On the positive note, some of the biofuel feedstock harvests might be used in one of the bioremediation methods or phyto-remediation of contaminated H2O undertakings ( Berndes, 2002 ) .

Increase Chemical use Impact on Biodiversity

Expansion of lands for the production of biofuel feedstocks with homogenous cropping has lead to the increased usage of chemical applications like pesticides to command plague and besides most particularly more fertilisers to increase the dirt food and feedstock outputs has resulted in the increased emanation of N from dirt which is the major emanation beginning of azotic oxide universe broad ( MEA, 2005 ) . This azotic oxide has really high planetary heating potencies greater than that of carbon-dioxide.

The addition usage of fertiliser, if sustainable patterns are non maintained to forestall leaching and eutrophicating foods emanation, can ensue in the increased eutrophication of aquatic and tellurian ecosystem and thereby ensuing to loss of biodiversity ( MEA, 2005 ) .

Consequently, utilizing trees and perennial or 2nd coevals biofuel feedstock harvests ( table.1 ) , reduces the application of agrochemicals and as a consequence impacts the environment and biodiversity positively.

Invasive Speciess Impact

There is besides concern for invasive species debut to the ecosystem due to biofuel feedstock production ( Raghu et al, 2006 ) . Some of the 2nd coevals biofuel feedstock productions such as woody species and grasses ( table.1 ) have invasive species traits which include long canopy period, rapid growing and high H2O usage productiveness. It is feared that these biofuel feedstock harvests if introduced will non merely occupy but will besides displace some autochthonal species ensuing in lessening or loss of biodiversity ( Ragh et al, 2006 ) . For illustration in United States, biofuel feedstock harvests such as Johnson grass ( Sorghum halepense ) , Reed canary grass ( Phalaris arundinacea ) and Giant reed ( Arundo donax ) are already known to be invasive.

Impact of Forestry and Agricultural Waste Feedstock on Biodiversity

Waste is the 2nd chief beginning of 2nd coevals biofuel feedstock ( table.1 ) . Woody waste feedstock coevals can be harvested straight from forest or sawing Millss.

Low C segregation and large-scale biodiversity losingss in woods is due to the remotion of deceasing and dead trees from the wood, as many woodland species live and feed on these waste ( Paul and Ernsting, 2007 ) . For illustration nonvascular plants, Fungis, invertebrates, lichens, beetling etc provender and live on forest dead forests depending on the dead wood volume assortment and grades of decomposition nowadays ( Jonsson et al. , 2005 ; Jonsell et al. , 2007 ) .

Dead wood facilitates tremendous assortment of arthropods which attracts higher degrees of many species such as birds. Extraction and glade of this waste will diminish the home grounds of these species and might emphasize the productiveness of the wood.

Similarly, remotion of the forestry waste merchandises for biofuel production can impact biodiversity positively by cut downing the hazard of forest fires.

The impact of agricultural waste on biodiversity either positive or negative depends on the home ground they are generated from and the waste merchandise. Grass film editings remotion helps protect the profusion of species aided by unfastened home grounds and besides semi-natural grasslands are conserved from natural sequence.

Removal of agricultural waste besides prevents the grass land from losing its aesthetic values and assorted ecosystems.

Removal of grass or works litters or waste helps diminish the dirt food or organic affair and this enhances the profusion of species in diverse grassland home grounds ( Hansson and Fogelfors, 2000 ) .

Consequently, remotion of agricultural waste for illustration straw, leftover from barley and wheat, which is used to increase the dirt organic affair can impact biodiversity negatively as dirt beings will be reduced and this might connote in the addition usage of nitrate fertilisers which has inauspicious consequence or impact on the fresh water and land ecosystem and besides on biodiversity every bit good ( Paul and Ernsting, 2007 ) .

Case Study: impact of biofuel production from wood french friess on biodiversity in Netherlands.

The Son Heathland and the New Heathland are nature modesty countries in Netherlands with several pools, heathlands and forest dunes covering about 600 hectares ( Biemans et al. , 2008 ) .

The municipality of these heathlands uses waste merchandises from these heathlands to bring forth biofuels in order to protect and conserve the heathland ecosystem from turning into a wood ( Biemans et al. , 2008 ) .

The heathland ecosystem and its species profusion are sustained by guaranting care of unfastened infinite, as the heathland ecosystem might be taken over by forest if trees were non cut and cleared and used for the processing and coevals of biofuel.

Not droping and cutting the trees might do a negative impact on biodiversity as rare species found in the heathland might free their home ground and the necessary ecosystem services needed for their endurances.

Similarly, cutting the trees around the heathland ecosystem helps in the natural regeneration of the trees which provides chances for the safety of animate beings and workss.

Normally, forestry waste is non removed in some ecosystem to conserve specific species and the ecosystem, but in these sites the Son Heathland and the New Heathland, it is removed for the production of biofuel, which helps to heighten and conserve the heathland ecosystem thereby impacting biodiversity both negatively and positively.


The potency for biofuel to function as an energy security to protect and replace dodo fuel due to uninterrupted depletion of the dodo fuel minerals resource and besides its possible to extenuate green house gasses is great. But if sustainable direction ( e.g. for land usage and feedstock picks ) , policies and criterions are non set and implemented for the production of biofuels or bioenergy, the unsustainable practise in the production will do serious negative impact on biodiversity by destructing assorted ecosystem and home grounds.

Besides societal impacts can non be ignored every bit good, as biofuel production might and will vie with nutrient harvests production in future, if attention is non taken to sustainable balance its production and will thereby impact the multitudes.

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Likely Effects Of Biofuels On Biodiversity An Environmental Sciences. (2017, Sep 05). Retrieved from

Likely Effects Of Biofuels On Biodiversity An Environmental Sciences
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