Growing non-food crops in marginal lands has been proposed as a solution to avoid land competition with food production. Mapping marginal agricultural lands is therefore fundamental for the sustainable development of rural landscapes. This study proposes a method based on remote sensing data to identify marginal agricultural lands for the production of wood biomass, and analyse potential trade-offs and synergies between the new wood crops, food production, and Ecosystem Services (ES) provided by vegetation. The province of Rovigo (northern Italy) was chosen as a representative case study. Three classes of marginal agricultural lands were mapped through the use of the Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI): i) abandoned or unused agricultural lands, ii) potentially poorly or non-managed croplands, and iii) potentially low productivity croplands. Results showed that marginal agricultural lands cover 1.7% of the agricultural areas of the province, and approximately 13,642 MWh yr(-1) of Second-Generation (2G) bioenergy can be produced in marginal agricultural areas while enhancing ES provided by vegetation, and avoiding any trade-off with food production. Since this energy potential covers just 8.4% of the total potential authorized in the province, the enhancement of ES could provide a suitable argument to support the conversion of marginal agricultural lands and increase the multifunctionality of the agricultural landscape.

Bioenergy and ecosystem services trade-offs and synergies in marginal agricultural lands: A remote-sensing-based assessment method

Gaglio M.
Secondo
;
2019

Abstract

Growing non-food crops in marginal lands has been proposed as a solution to avoid land competition with food production. Mapping marginal agricultural lands is therefore fundamental for the sustainable development of rural landscapes. This study proposes a method based on remote sensing data to identify marginal agricultural lands for the production of wood biomass, and analyse potential trade-offs and synergies between the new wood crops, food production, and Ecosystem Services (ES) provided by vegetation. The province of Rovigo (northern Italy) was chosen as a representative case study. Three classes of marginal agricultural lands were mapped through the use of the Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI): i) abandoned or unused agricultural lands, ii) potentially poorly or non-managed croplands, and iii) potentially low productivity croplands. Results showed that marginal agricultural lands cover 1.7% of the agricultural areas of the province, and approximately 13,642 MWh yr(-1) of Second-Generation (2G) bioenergy can be produced in marginal agricultural areas while enhancing ES provided by vegetation, and avoiding any trade-off with food production. Since this energy potential covers just 8.4% of the total potential authorized in the province, the enhancement of ES could provide a suitable argument to support the conversion of marginal agricultural lands and increase the multifunctionality of the agricultural landscape.
2019
Longato, D.; Gaglio, M.; Boschetti, M.; Gissi, E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2406135
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