Placing biofuel production into the context of prairie ecosystem function and sustainability
We are living in a period of unprecedented global change where even the most remote areas of the planet are influenced by the activities of man. Modern landscapes have been highly modified to accommodate a growing human population that is forecast to peak at 9.1 billion by 2050. Over this past century, human reliance on goods and services from ecosystems has greatly increased and sustainability of our modern and intensively managed ecosystems has been a topic of serious national and international concern. Not surprisingly, sustainability of ecosystems has become an explicitly stated goal of many agencies and, in some cases, has been legislatively mandated to ensure the provisioning of resources for future generations. Current efforts to reduce the human population’s impact on ecosystems and a simultaneous interest on reaching energy independence within the United States have led to an increased focus on the production of fuels from alternative sources, i.e., wind, solar, biofuels.
David M Mushet