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Global biomass production potentials exceed expected future demand without the need for cropland expansion.

Mauser W, Klepper G, Zabel F, Delzeit R, Hank T, Putzenlechner B, Calzadilla A - Nat Commun (2015)

Bottom Line: Global biomass demand is expected to roughly double between 2005 and 2050.By explicitly considering these two factors we show that, without expansion of cropland, today's global biomass potentials substantially exceed previous estimates and even 2050s' demands.The additional potentials would make cropland expansion redundant.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geography, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Luisenstr. 37, 80333 Munich, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Global biomass demand is expected to roughly double between 2005 and 2050. Current studies suggest that agricultural intensification through optimally managed crops on today's cropland alone is insufficient to satisfy future demand. In practice though, improving crop growth management through better technology and knowledge almost inevitably goes along with (1) improving farm management with increased cropping intensity and more annual harvests where feasible and (2) an economically more efficient spatial allocation of crops which maximizes farmers' profit. By explicitly considering these two factors we show that, without expansion of cropland, today's global biomass potentials substantially exceed previous estimates and even 2050s' demands. We attribute 39% increase in estimated global production potentials to increasing cropping intensities and 30% to the spatial reallocation of crops to their profit-maximizing locations. The additional potentials would make cropland expansion redundant. Their geographic distribution points at possible hotspots for future intensification.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Comparison of global potential biomass production increase (PBPI) in percentage points (pp) determined under present climate conditions and on today's cropland; blue: previous studies, green: this study.Column 1: statistical approach of Mueller et al.16, column 2: modelling approach FAO-GAEZ1415, column 3: agro-ecological PBPI from PROMET simulations, column 4: column 3 plus potential cropping intensities, column 5: column 4 plus profit-maximizing spatial reallocation of crops.
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f1: Comparison of global potential biomass production increase (PBPI) in percentage points (pp) determined under present climate conditions and on today's cropland; blue: previous studies, green: this study.Column 1: statistical approach of Mueller et al.16, column 2: modelling approach FAO-GAEZ1415, column 3: agro-ecological PBPI from PROMET simulations, column 4: column 3 plus potential cropping intensities, column 5: column 4 plus profit-maximizing spatial reallocation of crops.

Mentions: Figure 1 summarizes the globally averaged results of our PBPI simulations (green) and compares them with assessments of PBPIs in recent studies (blue).


Global biomass production potentials exceed expected future demand without the need for cropland expansion.

Mauser W, Klepper G, Zabel F, Delzeit R, Hank T, Putzenlechner B, Calzadilla A - Nat Commun (2015)

Comparison of global potential biomass production increase (PBPI) in percentage points (pp) determined under present climate conditions and on today's cropland; blue: previous studies, green: this study.Column 1: statistical approach of Mueller et al.16, column 2: modelling approach FAO-GAEZ1415, column 3: agro-ecological PBPI from PROMET simulations, column 4: column 3 plus potential cropping intensities, column 5: column 4 plus profit-maximizing spatial reallocation of crops.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4660367&req=5

f1: Comparison of global potential biomass production increase (PBPI) in percentage points (pp) determined under present climate conditions and on today's cropland; blue: previous studies, green: this study.Column 1: statistical approach of Mueller et al.16, column 2: modelling approach FAO-GAEZ1415, column 3: agro-ecological PBPI from PROMET simulations, column 4: column 3 plus potential cropping intensities, column 5: column 4 plus profit-maximizing spatial reallocation of crops.
Mentions: Figure 1 summarizes the globally averaged results of our PBPI simulations (green) and compares them with assessments of PBPIs in recent studies (blue).

Bottom Line: Global biomass demand is expected to roughly double between 2005 and 2050.By explicitly considering these two factors we show that, without expansion of cropland, today's global biomass potentials substantially exceed previous estimates and even 2050s' demands.The additional potentials would make cropland expansion redundant.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geography, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Luisenstr. 37, 80333 Munich, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Global biomass demand is expected to roughly double between 2005 and 2050. Current studies suggest that agricultural intensification through optimally managed crops on today's cropland alone is insufficient to satisfy future demand. In practice though, improving crop growth management through better technology and knowledge almost inevitably goes along with (1) improving farm management with increased cropping intensity and more annual harvests where feasible and (2) an economically more efficient spatial allocation of crops which maximizes farmers' profit. By explicitly considering these two factors we show that, without expansion of cropland, today's global biomass potentials substantially exceed previous estimates and even 2050s' demands. We attribute 39% increase in estimated global production potentials to increasing cropping intensities and 30% to the spatial reallocation of crops to their profit-maximizing locations. The additional potentials would make cropland expansion redundant. Their geographic distribution points at possible hotspots for future intensification.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus