Session 1: Agriculture, Food Systems, and Bio-Energy

9:30-10:50 AM | Room 103

Collaborative Geodesign for Multifunctional Landscapes

Carissa Schively Slotterback, Bryan Runck, David Pitt, Len Kne, Nicholas R. Jordan, and David Mulla
University of Minnesota

This presentation highlights the development and application of a collaborative geodesign system in the planning and design of multifunctional landscapes that optimize production of food and biofuel commodities with enhanced water quality and habitat performance. The geodesign system is informed by innovations in GIS and integrates underlying modeling related to soils, agricultural productivity, habitat, and water quality (e.g. SWAT, INVEST) into a stakeholder-friendly interface for landscape-scale planning and design. We describe the modeling capabilities and interface of the geodesign system and offer insights into the system’s contributions to collaborative stakeholder engagement, informing decision making, and enhancing landscape planning outcomes.

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Holistic Decision Support Modeling to Convert Wastes to Energy

David Binkley
Michigan Public Service Commission

Steven Safferman, Michael Thomas, Jason Smith, and Younsuk Dong
Michigan State University

Anaerobic digesters (ADs) are becoming recognized as a way to achieve cost-efficient, base-load renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A two-step process established a decision support model to support the site-specific development of AD systems operating with blended feedstocks. The Michigan Waste Biomass Inventory (Inventory) and the Anaerobic Digestion Development Iterative Tool (ADDIT) were used. The Inventory locates feedstocks and ADDIT assesses technical and economic performance and includes the integration of science, engineering, policy, and economic considerations. The effectiveness was tested in 2014 with the successful Experimental Advanced Renewable Program, offered by the Consumers Energy Company.

Integrating Biogeochemical and Price Forecasting Models to Predict Bioenergy Crop Supply and Environmental Impacts

Scott Swinton
Michigan State University

Aklesso Egbendewe-Mondzozo
Université de Lomé

Shujiang Kang and Wilfred M. Post
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Wyatt Thompson and Julian C. Binfield
University of Missouri

To overcome information gaps on cellulosic biomass production for bioenergy purposes, we built a bio-economic model to simulate bioenergy crop production choices and outcomes by linking to parameters from a bio-geophysical crop growth and environmental fate model (EPIC) and a multi-market price forecasting model (FAPRI). Simulations using price forecasts that capture multi-market feedbacks showed less environmental benefits than similar models that failed to incorporate these feedbacks. Market feedbacks generate higher threshold prices for biomass to enter production, causing profit-maximizing farmers to opt for intensified fertilizer use on annual grain crops with cellulosic byproducts, rather than lower-input perennial bioenergy crops.

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Understanding the Consequences of Biodiversity Loss for Ecosystem Functioning: Integration of Quantitative System Modeling of Trophic Networks and Experimental Long-Term Data

Oksana Y. Buzhdygan and Jana S. Petermann
Freie Universität Berlin

Traditional approaches to the study of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning linkages do not incorporate the analysis of trophic dynamics and therefore overlook the whole-system prospective on the current problem. It is mostly limitations in time, human resources, and collaborative cross-disciplinary team-building that prevent the collection and synthesis of long-term data sets on many ecosystem properties. Quantitative modeling is a powerful approach to fill data gaps in ecosystem parameters and to perform whole-system analysis. With the current study we integrate the quantitative modeling techniques of ecological network analysis (ENA) with the empirical large-scale data of the Jena Biodiversity Experiment, a large grassland biodiversity experiment in Germany.

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