BEST project

The joint research project “BEST − Strengthening Bioenergy Regions“ (2010-2014), coordinated by the Forest Ecosystems Research Center Göttingen and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), analyzes the potential of short-term rotation coppices and agroforestry systems as bioenergy supplier in two exemplary regions in the States of Lower Saxony and Thuringia. As a subproject within BEST (called BESTGRAS), the Department of Grassland Science and Renewable Plant Resources at the University of Kassel−Witzenhausen evaluates the energetic use of grassland biomass in an agroforestry system composed of short-term rotation coppice and grassland. The project aims to investigate biomass yields and energetic potential of this type of agroforestry system. Furthermore, BESTGRAS assesses the physiological quality of the grassland swards via spectroscopic methods and compares the efficiency of different energy conversion techniques for grassland biomass. Ecological and socio-economic effects are examined in cooperation with other subprojects. Additionally, the project looks into inhibiting and synergistic effects between trees and grassland vegetation, in order to appraise the applicability of such a system. Since water and light availability has a major impact on grassland yield and quality, soil moisture is measured along transects in the grassland. The influence of light as limiting factor is tested by artificial shade covering the grassland (see picture). For further information please visit: http://best-forschung.uni-goettingen.de/ (only in German) http://www.agrar.uni-kassel.de/pfb/bestgrass_134_en.html