Energy Crop

Rising demand for renewable resources has increased silage maize (Zea mays L.)production characterized by intensive soil management, high fertilizer and pesticide inputs as well as simplified crop rotations. Advantages of renewable biomass production may thus be cancelled out by adverse environmental effects. Perennial crops, like cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.), are said to benefit arthropods. Substituting silage maize could hence increase biodiversity and foster ecosystem services.
Based on literature and six country studies (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Slovakia) this paper discusses the compatibility of the EU 2020 targets for renewable energy with conservation of biodiversity.We conclude that increased demand for biomass for bioenergy purposes may lead to a continued conversion of valuable habitats into productive lands and to intensification, which both have negative effects on biodiversity.