A Biomass Future for the North American Great Plains - Toward Sustainable Land Use and Mitigation of Greenhouse Warming

Edited by Norman J. Rosenberg 
Springer  January 2007  

Hardcover  198 pp  ISBN 9781402056000      £112.00
The Great Plains of North America is a major global breadbasket but its agriculture is stressed by drought, heat spells, damaging winds, soil erosion and declining ground water resources. The great inter-annual variability in crop production and declining rural populations weaken an economy already highly dependent upon government support. The region's ecological fragility and economic weakness is attributed by many to removal of its original grass cover. Abandonment of agricultural cropping and restoration of the grass cover is one proposed solution to the region's problems.

Simulation models suggest that the agriculture and water resources of the Plains may be stressed even further as its climate changes because of global warming, which is due primarily to the emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion. This book explores the possibility that the ecology and economy of the Plains region (and similar regions) would benefit from the introduction of perennial biomass crops.

Biomass production and processing on the Plains (possibly aided by genetic engineering) would partially restore a perennial vegetative cover and create new employment opportunities. Biomass also offers a means of reducing fossil fuel use, providing fuel to local power plants and a feedstock for production of cellulosic ethanol, a gasoline substitute. Interest in biofuels is growing rapidly in public, political and business circles with rising fossil fuel prices and because of a growing recognition of the need for energy independence in petroleum importing countries.

Written for researchers in agricultural industries and farm organizations; agronomists, graduate students



  • Introduction.
  • The Physical Environment.
  • People and the Economy.
  • Agriculture and Sustainability.
  • The Wildcard of Climate Change.
  • A Role for the Plains in Combating Climate Change.
  • Outlook.- Section containing coloured figures.
To find similar publications, click on a keyword below:
Springer : agriculture & forestry : bioenergy : biomass : climate change : sustainable development

Terms & Conditions | Privacy Statement

Last Modified 16/12/2013 © CPL Scientific Publishing Services Limited

Search this site Environment Ecology Energy Bioproducts Food Biotechnology Agriculture Biocontrol & IPM Life Sciences Chemistry Business