Bioenergy Crops Could Become Invasive Species

invasiveplantjournalWhile some crops could hold great potential as bioenergy sources, they could also pose a threat as an invasive species. A new study in the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management says that a seed-bearing form of giant miscanthus could be trouble for farmers if it escapes cultivation.

The article “The Relative Risk of Invasion: Evaluation of Miscanthus × giganteus Seed Establishment,” reports the results of field tests on the fertile “PowerCrane” line of giant miscanthus…

Giant miscanthus produces abundant biomass, has few pests, and requires few inputs after establishment. While these traits make it an excellent bioenergy crop, they are also traits of invasive species. This species has the ability to produce up to 1 billion spikelets per acre per year that can disperse seed into the wind.

The researchers looked at seedling establishment in seven different habitats and found a high seedling mortality—99.9 percent overall. But that small percentage that escapes would still leave 1 million spikelets per acre in the seed bank. The authors urge caution in establishing any species that has the potential to become invasive to surrounding farmland.

One thought on “Bioenergy Crops Could Become Invasive Species

  1. The biomass agricultural and forestry waste materials are great energy resource as they are green renewable and non-polluting energy resource.
    Rather direct use of such biomass materials, they are recycled and converted in to more energetic fuel briquettes using briquette plant technology.
    The use of such renewable bio fuel can change our energy future and save our globe from global warming.