BESTers, thought you should see this thoughtful message from a colleague.
She is recommending that UF should take a look at biofuels from an
ecosystems viewpoint in addition the the economic, agronomic, and
engineering viewpoints already getting attention.
Dr. Stephen R. Humphrey, Director of Academic Programs,
School of Natural Resources and Environment,
Box 116455, 103 Black Hall, University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-6455 USA
Tel. 352-392-9230, Fax 352-392-9748
From: Swain, Hilary [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, July 31, 2006 1:30 PM
To: [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]
Cc: [log in to unmask]; Bohlen, Patrick; Lollis, L. Gene
Subject: Farm fuel summit
Strongly suggest you put this on your radar screen.
While I am an enthusiastic proponent of biofuels (although not corn since it
seems so inefficient), and I am really interested in finding ranchers and
foresters economically (and ecologically) sustainable ways of staying on
their land, there are some potential pitfalls here.
This would be a great opportunity to make sure that one could be
enthusiastic about Florida biofuels as long as
1. They are not planning on species that could be invasive (some have been
planning just this e.g. Arundo donax). This should be a very important
principle in Florida . Now is the time to get this concern embedded in the
2. It does not precipitate intensification of huge acreages of rangeland
and unimproved or semi-native pasture to crop production - huge loss for
Florida's native biodiversity. I doubt if this is going to be considered
for abandoned citrus areas on sandy soils although may be a use for
abandoned Flatwoods citrus off ridges.
3. It doesn't require higher nutrient inputs to maintain productivity that
would exacerbate existing huge nutrient challenges.
4. We need to think carefully about any implications for fire management and
harvesting versus reduced use of fire for ecosystem maintenance.
5. I haven't really thought through the implications for ecosystem benefits
of existing silvicultural operations but assume Janaki has been giving this
Hilary Swain, Ph.D.
Archbold Biological Station
PO Box 2057
Lake Placid, FL 33862
email: [log in to unmask]
web site: <file://www.archbold-station.org> www.archbold-station.org
My assistant is Cheryl Henderson - [log in to unmask]