Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

CABI Book Chapter

Bioenergy and biological invasions: ecological, agronomic and policy perspectives on minimizing risk.

Book cover for Bioenergy and biological invasions: ecological, agronomic and policy perspectives on minimizing risk.


This book contains 9 chapters focusing on the ecological, agronomic and policy perspectives on minimizing risk of bioenergy and biological invasions. Topics covered include potential risks of algae bioenergy feedstocks, gene flow and invasiveness in bioenergy systems, use of weed risk assessments to separate the crops from the weeds and eradication and control of bioenergy feedstocks, among others...

Chapter 1 (Page no: 1)

The bioenergy landscape: sustainable resources or the next great invasion?

Government policies have spurred efforts to develop dedicated bioenergy crops that could avoid greenhouse gas emissions associated with fossil fuel combustion and the consequences of land use change associated with "first-generation" biofuels. Dedicated bioenergy crops, slated to be cultivated on marginal lands, have been the subject of debate regarding their potential for invasion outside of cultivation. Critics have cited the weedy life-history strategies and history of invasion for some dedicated bioenergy feedstocks. Evaluations of feedstock invasion potential must balance the potential for negative ecological impacts resulting from future invasions with potential economic losses associated with an overly cautious approach. This already difficult situation is complicated further by the uncertain nature of candidate species traits, which are continually "improved" through traditional breeding and genetic modification techniques. Preventing invasions will require re-evaluation of antiquated weed laws that focus primarily on taxa impacting agriculture, not "natural" areas. In addition, prediction and prevention of future invasions will require the initiation of multi-year and multi-site empirical studies quantifying the invasion potential of novel feedstocks within their production regions. We acknowledge that establishment of a robust framework to evaluate the invasive potential of bioenergy crops will not be developed and implemented overnight; however, this book highlights important factors to consider now, and as the industry develops.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 2 (Page no: 12) What would invasive feedstock populations look like? Perspectives from existing invasions. Author(s): Quinn, L. D.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 35) Potential risks of algae bioenergy feedstocks. Author(s): Phang SiewMoi, Chu WanLoy
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 52) Gene flow and invasiveness in bioenergy systems. Author(s): Ridley, C. E., Mallory-Smith, C.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 67) Using weed risk assessments to separate the crops from the weeds. Author(s): Barney, J. N., Smith, L. L., Tekiela, D. R.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 85) Bioenergy and novel plants: the regulatory structure. Author(s): Endres, A. B.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 97) "Seeded-yet-sterile" perennial grasses: towards sustainable and non-invasive biofuel feedstocks. Author(s): Jessup, R. W., Dowling, C. D.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 113) Eradication and control of bioenergy feedstocks: what do we really know? Author(s): Enloe, S. F., Loewenstein, N. J.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 134) Good intentions vs good ideas: evaluating bioenergy projects that utilize invasive plant feedstocks. Author(s): Nackley, L. L.