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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

Landscape perspective on energy forests

Skarback E, Becht P


In 1982-1983, a 70 ha energy forest project was established in an arable landscape in southern Sweden. Many aspects of the energy forest system were investigated. This paper reports mainly on the aesthetic impacts of the project at a landscape level. One effect is an increasing variation in the views and the aesthetic values of the arable land. The Salix crops introduce new colours into the arable landscape. The green colour of the Salix fields lasts longer in the autumn. Also, from year to year a spatial Variation appears. The increasing wildlife shelter seems to make the fauna richer. Viewed as an energy crop only, the commercial competitiveness of energy forests is often low. However. if the benefits of energy crops as elements of the landscape are added, the socio-economic value could be substantial. Such landscape benefits include increasing biodiversity in the arable landscape, wind-shelter against soil erosion and snow. shelter for wildlife, the reduction of nitrogen leaching, views of the landscape and aesthetic considerations. and recovery of the organic soil component of arable land. An interesting question is whether or not energy forests grown on arable land are profitable from a socio-economic point of view when considering a more holistic evaluation of all the largely beneficial impacts of energy forests. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved


energy forest; arable landscape; aesthetic; variation; fauna; nitrogen leaching; socio-economic

Published in

Biomass and Bioenergy
2005, Volume: 28, number: 2, pages: 151-159

      SLU Authors

    • Skärbäck, Erik

      • Department of Landscape Planning Alnarp, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Landscape Architecture

    Publication Identifiers


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