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Exploring the potential of microalgae as a livestock feed

A recently published paper in Carbon Balance and Management has looked at the potential of microalgae as a livestock feed.

In the abstract to the paper, the authors said, "Land scarcity already creates tension between food security and bioenergy production, and this competition is likely to intensify as populations and the effects of climate change expand. Despite research into microalgae as a next-generation energy source, the land-sparing consequences of alternative sources of livestock feed have been overlooked."

They go on to suggest that using microalage as a feedstock could free up to 2 billion hectares of land, which could potentially be planted with forests making a significant contribution to carbon sequestration via photosynthesis. Inaddition, Algaculture can take place on land which is otherwise unsuitable for crop production.

They conclude that, "this analysis demonstrates that algacultural feedstock at any scale represents a promising and simultaneous solution to food security and climate change, and that these systems merit greater attention and closer scrutiny than they have thus far received."

 

Journal reference: Brian J. Walsh, Felicjan Rydzak, Amanda Palazzo, Florian Kraxner, Mario Herrero, Peer M. Schenk, Philippe Ciais, Ivan A. Janssens, Josep Peñuelas, Anneliese Niederl-Schmidinger and Michael Obersteiner. New feed sources key to ambitious climate targets. Carbon Balance and Management 2015, 10:26  doi:10.1186/s13021-015-0040-7

 

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