Biomass is a term in ecology for the mass of living organisms in a given ecosystem. Biomass can refer to the living stock of species in a given habitat, but can...
BiomassLast Updated on 2014-09-30 22:09:21
Biomass is a term in ecology for the mass of living organisms in a given ecosystem. Biomass can refer to the living stock of species in a given habitat, but can also refer to a harvested subset or to a decaying subset (especially in the case of forest floor detritus). Biomass may refer to the total mass of all species within the study area, and is thus sometimes called community biomass; but biomass may also refer to a taxonomic subset. Biomass can be expressed as the average mass per unit area or unit volume, or simply as the total mass in the community. Plants characteristically comprise the greatest part of the biomass of terrestrial system. In the animal kingdom, iIronically, the smallest creatures in an ecosystem typically represent the largest quantity of its biomass. It is important to note that the relative biomass species mix may change considerably from season... More »
Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and IssuesLast Updated on 2014-06-11 15:55:19Summary
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, 2008 Farm Bill) created the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). The two main purposes of BCAP are: (1) to support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected areas: and (2) to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility. BCAP is intended to assist with the bioenergy industry’s hurdle of continuous biomass availability.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) implemented one portion of BCAP—the Collection, Harvest, Storage, and Transportation (CHST) matching payment program—on June 11, 2009, through a Notice of Funds Availability in the Federal Register. The partial implementation... More »
Biochar: Concept to Sequester CarbonLast Updated on 2014-06-11 15:45:52
Biochar is a charcoal produced under high temperatures using crop residues, animal manure, or any type of organic waste material. Depending on the feedstock, biochar may look similar to potting soil or to a charred substance. The combined production and use of biochar is considered a carbon-negative process, meaning that it removes carbon from the atmosphere.
Biochar has multiple potential environmental benefits, foremost the potential to sequester carbon in the soil for hundreds to thousands of years at an estimate. Studies suggest that crop yields can increase as a result of applying biochar as a soil amendment. Some contend that biochar has value as an immediate climate change mitigation strategy. Scientific experiments suggest that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced significantly with biochar application to crop fields.
Obstacles that may stall rapid adoption of biochar... More »
Agriculture-based biofuelsLast Updated on 2013-09-30 14:20:59
Since the late 1970s, U.S. policymakers at both the federal and state levels have enacted a variety of incentives, regulations, and programs to encourage the production and use of agriculture-based biofuels. Initially, federal biofuels policies were developed to help kick-start the biofuels industry during its early development, when neither production capacity nor a market for the finished product was widely available. Federal policy has played a key role in helping to close the price gap between biofuels and cheaper petroleum fuels. Now, as the industry has evolved, other policy goals (e.g., national energy security, climate change concerns, support for rural economies) are cited by proponents as justification for continuing policy support.
The U.S. biofuels sector has responded to these government incentives by expanding output every year since 1996, with important... More »
Land use profile of ChinaLast Updated on 2013-08-25 16:46:51
The story of land use in China over the last century is as dramatic as the tale of the country's radical economic transformation. Endless acres of rural lands, that just a few decades ago were farmed by peasant collectives as part of Mao Zedong's massive agricultural campaigns, today host brand new condominium developments, as China's cities rapidly fan out past their existing boundaries. Giant factories dot the countryside in even the most remote provinces and manufacture all sorts of goods for export into the international market. In many ways, this process of shifting landscapes indicates an accumulation of wealth in regions that still suffer considerably from high poverty rates.
The human cost of the rural construction boom can often be measured in the number of displaced peasant families, who typically have little recourse to prevent the repurposing of their... More »
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