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    Rights statement: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science and Technology, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b00266

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The impact of biofuel poplar cultivation on ground-level ozone and premature human mortality depends on cultivar selection and planting location

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number14
Volume49
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)8566-8575
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date22/06/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Isoprene and other volatile organic compounds emitted from vegetation play a key role in governing the formation of ground-level ozone. Emission rates of such compounds depend critically on the plant species. Future land use change, driven by the cultivation of biofuel feedstocks, will change the distribution of plant species and hence the magnitude and distribution of emissions. Here we use relationships between biomass yield and isoprene emissions derived from experimental data for 29 commercially available poplar hybrids to assess the impact that the large-scale cultivation of poplar for use as a biofuel feedstock will have on air quality in Europe. We show that the increases in ground-level ozone across Europe will increase the number of premature deaths attributable to ozone pollution each year by up to 6%. Substantial crop losses (up to ~9 Mt y-1 of wheat and maize) are also projected. We further demonstrate that these impacts are strongly dependent on the location of the poplar plantations, due to the prevailing meteorology, the population density and the dominant crop type of the region. Our findings indicate the need for a concerted and centralized decision-making process that considers all aspects of future land use change in Europe, and not just the effect on greenhouse gas emissions.

Bibliographic note

This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science and Technology, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b00266 Date of Acceptance: 21/06/2015