An extensive UK network of sites was established for the ELUM project comprising 74 land use change transitions from arable and grassland into perennial energy crops and short rotation forestry (SRF). Commercial-scale field sites were used to provide the greatest relevance to real-world bioenergy production in the UK.
As second generation bioenergy crops (e.g. Miscanthus and short rotation coppice Willow) are relatively new crops, there are no long-term data sets on soil carbon changes after land use change to bioenergy cropping.
To address this knowledge gap within the life of the research project, we used a space-for-time substitution (paired site and chronosequence) targeting transitions from arable and grassland into the following crops:
- Short Rotation Coppice-Willow (SRC-W)
- Short Rotation Forestry (SRF)
Static and dynamic greenhouse gas measurements were undertaken at a network of four bioenergy sites equipped with nine greenhouse gas monitoring stations (Eddy Covariance) across the UK. A further 70 bioenergy sites were also targeted to assess soil carbon changes at depths of up 30 cm and 1 metre.