In the U.S., coal plants are closing, but carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere continues to rise. Pivoting toward renewable energy sources like wind, solar and biofuels is a necessary step toward halting the worst effects of climate change. Forest biomass is expected to be one of the key energy sources, but many people have wondered how to feed biofuel plants the materials they need without destroying forest resources.
Whole-tree aspen logging promotes renewable biomass energy from tops and branches, parts of the tree that are often left in the forest during logging in favor of the tree’s trunk, using the residual that remains after a sustainable harvest for logs. It has long been assumed that removing the leaves and branches of trees, rather than allowing them to decompose in the woods, will deplete the soil and lead to a weaker forest ecosystem. New research from Michigan Technological University’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science challenges that hypothesis.
Read the full article: Phys