UNISCAPE online lecture “Agroforestry, energy plantations and landscape management: land use, biodiversity and wildlife habitats” 4 May 2021
Welcome to the UNISCAPE classroom!
Landscape draws us all together. It is where the disciplines meet because it is where everything and everyone meets
Speakers: Sándor Némethy (University of Pécs; University of Gothenberg); László Szemethy (University of Pécs)
Discussant: Giuseppe lo Papa (University of Palermo)
04 May 17:30 -18.30 (CET) – Zoom REGISTRATION
Woody biomass production may have both beneficial and adverse effects on cultural landscapes regarding land use, protection and/or creation of wildlife habitats, conservation and remediation of wastelands. Establishing energy plantations on arable lands, natural forest areas or on grasslands is against nature conservation, while
setting up them in depleted agricultural lands of inferior quality, polluted areas or wastelands could be advantageous for land reclamation and wildlife habitats.
The main forms of energy plantations include short rotation forestry (SRF), short rotation coppicing (SRC), agroforestry (AF) and polycyclic arboriculture. While short rotation forestry and short rotation coppicing have many similarities to monoculture, traditional agroforestry and polycyclic arboriculture provide better conditions for plant biodiversity, healthy soil formation and development of wildlife habitats. Furthermore, the more permanent cover provides shelter and biomass for feeding, which is especially important in winter, the higher architectural complexity of vegetation provides more place for nesting and feeding and the forbs in the undergrowth and young shots provide better quality food for wildlife than the intensive monocultures.
However, the aforementioned intensive forms (SRF and SRC) of energy plantations can be beneficial when connected to phytoremediation of polluted land areas, since in these cases short rotation and intensive biomass production can be desirable for fast removal of pollutants from soil and groundwater.
Depending on the applied species, the scale of biomass production and the energy production technologies, woody biomass production can be an important component of renewable energy systems, but unlikely to become the main source of renewable energy production. Therefore, the solution is a complex management system, which includes land use, phytoremediation, and a system of interlinked renewable energy sources. In this way the ecological resilience of the landscape is guaranteed through well designed agroecosystems, where even the sufficient size of ecotones is provided in connection with natural ecosystems.
Participation is free. Please register on Zoom
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.