Steffanie Schirren
Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture

Bundesallee 65
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 2602
Fax: +49 531 596 2699

BEST - bioenergy for climate mitigation


Treibhausgasmessung mit einer Gassammelhaube im Weizenfeld, Reiffenhausen (c) Thünen-Institut/AK
Measurements of greenhouse gas emissions with a static soil chamber in a wheat field, Reiffenhausen (© Thünen-Institut/AK)

BEST (Strengthening bioenergy regions) - bioenergy for climate mitigation

The production of bioenergy stands between the poles of different interests because agriculural area is limited and there are many competing land uses. In addition, there is a contoversial discussion on the contribution of bioenergy to greenhouse gas mitigation.

Background and Objective

The aim of the joined research project BEST is to develop regionally adjusted concepts and innovative options of producing biomass for energetic and material utilization. The project´s investigation will be conducted in two areas of Central Germany: the region Göttingen and in the Thuringian arable plain. Both regions are already developed as so called “bioenergy regions” and cover a broad climatic gradient.

One sub-project of BEST is conducted at the Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture. It focuses on the emissions of nitrous oxide during the production of bioenergy crops and investigates the parameters controlling this process. Additionally, the bioenergy crops´ potential to sequester carbon in soils will be determined. This work forms a basis to assess different bioenergy crops and their usage options regarding their greenhouse gas mitigation potential.


We established two research sites, one in the region Göttingen and one in the Thuringian arable plain in order to investigate the regional climate mitigation potential of bioenergy. At each site bioenergy crops with different management intensities and nutrient expenses are analyzed (maize, oil seed rape, grassland, short rotation plantation).

The work package that is located at the Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture consists of the following:

  • determination of the N2O emissions from soils by means of all year around chamber measurements, measurement of important parameters controlling the N2O emission and modeling of the N2O budgets
  • quantification of the CH4 exchange rates at the field sites and modeling of the CH4 fluxes
  • quantification of the soil organic carbon stocks and their changes after the establishment of 21 short rotation coppices plantations
  • balance of the overall greenhouse gas emissions of bioenergy feedstock and supply
  • deduction of the net CO2-equivalent saving by the use of bioenergy, calculation of the associated costs and nutrient efficiencies
Regrowth of a willow stool in the short rotation coppice Bad Salzungen
Regrowth of a willow stool in the short rotation coppice Bad Salzungen (© Thünen-Institut/AK)


see publications

Measurements of greenhouse gas emissions with a static soil chamber in a blooming rape seed field, Reiffenhausen
Measurements of greenhouse gas emissions with a static soil chamber in a blooming rape seed field, Reiffenhausen (© Thünen-Institut/AK)

Links and Downloads


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
    (national, öffentlich)
  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)


1.2011 - 2.2014

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: 033L033D
Project status: finished


hits: 6

  1. Kern J, Don A (2018) Emissionen von klimarelevanten Gasen aus Agrarholzanpflanzungen. In: Veste M, Böhm C (eds) Agrarholz - Schnellwachsende Bäume in der Landwirtschaft : Biologie - Ökologie - Management. Wiesbaden: Springer Spektrum, pp 315-333
  2. Walter K, Don A, Fuß R, Kern J, Drewer J, Flessa H (2015) Direct nitrous oxide emissions from oilseed rape cropping - a meta-analysis. Global Change Biol Bioenergy 7(6):1260-1271, DOI:10.1111/gcbb.12223
  3. Walter K, Don A, Flessa H (2015) Net N2O and CH4 soil fluxes of annual and perennial bioenergy crops in two central German regions. Biomass Bioenergy 81:556-567, DOI:10.1016/j.biombioe.2015.08.011
  4. Walter K, Don A, Flessa H (2015) No general soil carbon sequestration under Central European short rotation coppices. Global Change Biol Bioenergy 7(4):727-740, DOI:10.1111/gcbb.12177
  5. Strohm K, Schweinle J, Liesebach M, Osterburg B, Rödl A, Baum S, Nieberg H, Bolte A, Walter K (2012) Kurzumtriebsplantagen aus ökologischer und ökonomischer Sicht. Braunschweig: vTI, 89 p, Arbeitsber vTI Agrarökonomie 2012/06
    pdf document 1035 kb
  6. Don A, Osborne B, Hastings A, Skiba U, Carter MS, Drewer J, Flessa H, Freibauer A, Hyvönen N, Jones MB, Lanigan GJ, Mander Ü, Monti A, Djoma SN, Valentine J, Walter K, Zegada-Lizarazu W, Zenone T (2012) Land-use change to bioenergy production in Europe: implication for the greenhouse gas balance and soil carbon. Global Change Biol Bioenergy 4(4):372-391, DOI:10.1111/j.1757-1707.2011.01116.x