Mapping the Evidence on the Environmental Impacts of Land-Use Change for Non-food Biomass Production

  • David MakowskiEmail author
Part of the Sustainable Agriculture Reviews book series (SARV, volume 30)


The environmental impact of land-use change for biomass production is controversial, and it is crucial to provide stakeholders with a reliable description of the existing evidence on this topic. In this paper, we use an emerging research synthesis method called “evidence mapping” to summarize the main characteristics of 241 studies in a graphical user-friendly format. Results showed that most of the reviewed studies were located in Northern and Southern Americas, especially in USA and Brazil. A majority of studies focused on 1G and 2G biofuel, and on electricity production. The impacts on greenhouse gas emission, soil carbon content, soil erosion, water consumption, and water eutrophication were frequently assessed in the selected group of studies. The evidence maps produced in this paper revealed that only few studies were conducted to analyse the environmental impact of land-use change for methane production, for wood production, and for the chemical industry. Only few studies assessed the impact on biodiversity, on air quality, on human health, and on waste induced by land-use changes for biomass production. Our results thus highlight major gaps of knowledge and future research needs on the land-use-mediated implications of the bioeconomy.


Biomass Biofuel Environmental impact Evidence map Greenhouse gas Land use Research synthesis 



This work was funded by the Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maitrise de l’Energie (ADEME) and by the Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Forêt (contrat n° 12-60-C0004). We are grateful to the following people who significantly contributed to this work: Sophie Le Perchec (INRA Rennes), Laure Bamière (INRA Grignon), Aude Barbottin (INRA Grignon), Valentin Bellassen (INRA Dijon), Martial Bernoux (IRD Montpellier), Cécile Bessou (CIRAD Montpellier), Antonio Bispo (ADEME Angers), François Chiron (AgroParisTech, Orsay), Stéphane De Cara (INRA Grignon), Patrice Dumas (CIRAD Montpellier), Guillaume Décocq (Univ. Picardie Jules-Vernes, Amiens), Jean-François Dhôte (INRA Nancy), Monia El Akkari (INRA Paris), Sabrina Gaba (INRA Dijon), Benoît Gabrielle (AgroParisTech, Grignon), Philippe Lescoat (AgroParisTech, Paris), Olivier Réchauchère (INRA Paris), Julie Wohlfahrt (INRA Mirecourt).

The author would also like to thank two anonymous readers for their insightful comments, which made it possible to improve the quality of this article.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AgronomieINRAThiverval-GrignonFrance

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