Bioenergy Choices Could Dramatically Change Midwest, US, Bird Diversity

Science Daily, Oct 3 2010

Ambitious plans to expand acreage of bioenergy crops could have a major impact on birds in the Upper Midwest, according to a study published October 4 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Combining data from bird surveys and land usage, two University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers calculated changes in the number of bird species after widespread planting of bioenergy crops....

Today, most biofuel ethanol is made from corn, but the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, housed at UW-Madison and Michigan State University, is focusing on techniques for extracting biofuels from cellulose, which would expand the possible sources of biofuels to include crops such as switchgrass and many types of inedible biomass. At that point, says Gratton, farmers and society as a whole will face a decision about what crops best serve social needs.