Main content area

Spatial distribution of an invasive plant Spartina alterniflora and its potential as biofuels in China

Lu, Jianbo, Zhang, Ying
Ecological engineering 2013 v.52 pp. 175-181
Spartina alterniflora, aboveground biomass, aerial parts, biofuels, carbon dioxide, carbon sequestration, coal, ecosystems, invasive species, spatial data, Brazil, China
Spartina alterniflora, an invasive plant, has caused enormous ecological consequences since it was introduced to China over 30 years ago. However, as a potential bioenergy plant, it has obvious advantages. Therefore, it is academically important to study its spatial distribution and bioenergy potentials. The present research, using the remote sensing data from China and Brazil earth resources satellite (CBERS), coupled with data from related literature, concludes that the total area covered by the herb in China reaches 34,178ha, mainly in eastern Jiangsu Province, Shanghai Municipality and Zhejiang Province, accounting for 94.22% of the country's total. Its total annual biomass reaches 2.53Mt, producing 39 PJ bioenergy, equivalent to that of 1.33Mt of standard coal. The annual biomass of its above-ground parts is 1.12Mt, producing 18 PJ bioenergy, equivalent to that of 0.61Mt of standard coal. Besides, it also has strong carbon sequestration capabilities, its annual C stock amounting to 1.16Mt, or 4.25Mt of CO2. Therefore it is very significant for the carbon cycle of the ocean ecosystem.