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Monday, April 9 • 11:30am - 11:45am
PEOPLE AND LANDSCAPES. Investigating the Sustainability of Southeastern United States’ Wood Pellet Production

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AUTHORS: Esther Parish, Keith KlineLatha Baskaran - Center for BioEnergy Sustainability, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National LaboratoryVirginia Dale, Emma Tobin - Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Department, University of Tennessee; Anna Herzberger, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University; Colin Phifer, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University; Bob Abt, Carl Alwin Schenck Professor of Forestry, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University

ABSTRACT: This presentation summarizes recent and ongoing research to evaluate the potential benefits and tradeoffs of producing industrial wood pellets from forests of the Southeastern United States (SE US) for use as a renewable fuel in European electricity generation. Nearly all of the SE US industrial pellets produced since 2009 have been shipped to Europe to serve as a substitute for coal. Although this global exchange has developed in response to European Union goals to mitigate climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, groups on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean have expressed concerns that the trade arrangement has led (or will lead) to negative impacts on SE US forests. Concerns include potential loss of old growth and bottomland forests and associated ecosystem services and species as well as the calculated GHG emission levels. We maintain that concerns about impacts need to be analyzed based on best available empirical data associated with environmental, social, and economic indicators of sustainability. We present the results of several quantitative and qualitative analyses related to an accepted set of bioenergy sustainability indicators and discuss next steps.

Monday April 9, 2018 11:30am - 11:45am CDT
LaSalle 2 (7th Floor)

Attendees (5)