Promoting Ecological Sustainability in Woody Biomass Harvesting
Enthusiasm for the use of forest biomass as an energy resource is growing as a result of increased energy costs and a desire to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change. Although the opportunity exists for forests to have a significant role in the development and use of bioenergy technologies, justifiable concerns regarding the long-term sustainability of using forest-based energy feedstocks have emerged. In this article, we review the state of our knowledge regarding the impacts of intensive forestry with respect to issues relevant to bioenergy production, including soil and site productivity, hydrologic quality, and biodiversity. We then present guiding principles intended to aid with sustainable forest management decisions.
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