Ecosystem services of woody crop production systems
Short-rotation woody crops are an integral component of regional and national energy portfolios, as well as providing essential ecosystem services such as biomass supplies, carbon sinks, clean water, and healthy soils. We review recent USDA Forest Service Research and Development efforts from the USDA Biomass Research Centers on the provisioning of these ecosystem services from woody crop production systems. For biomass, we highlight productivity and yield potential, pest susceptibility, and bioenergy siting applications. We describe carbon storage in aboveground woody biomass and studies assessing the provision of clean and plentiful water. Soil protection and wildlife habitat are also mentioned, in the context of converting lands from traditional row-crop agriculture to woody production systems.