Sustainability of Perennial Crops Production for Bioenergy and Bioproducts

Ana Luisa Fernando, Nils Rettenmaier, Peter Soldatos, Calliope Panoutsou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Perennial nonfood crops, such as giant reed, switchgrass, or miscanthus, are characterized by relatively high yields, low input needs, and low susceptibility to pests and diseases. Their robustness and physiological characteristics, such as deep, dense, and extensive root system, allow them to adapt to different types of soils and ecological conditions, including marginal land. Either for bioenergy or biomaterials, perennial crops offer environmental advantages by contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases and energy, and promoting social benefits, especially in rural areas. However, their production cost is affected by yields that can compromise their economical exploitation. In this context, studies on the sustainability of perennial crops production are reviewed, taking into account environmental, economic, and socioeconomic aspects. In the end, a critical assessment of the literature is made providing hints on how the cultivation and use of perennial grasses can be promoted and managed envisaging gains in sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerennial Grasses for Bioenergy and Bioproducts
EditorsEfi Alexopoulou
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages39
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-812900-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Bioenergy
  • Biomaterials
  • Economic aspects
  • Environmental impacts
  • Integrated assessment
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Perennial grasses
  • Socioeconomic analysis
  • Sustainable management


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