Jessie L. Knowlton, Wheaton College
Kathleen E. Halvorsen, Michigan Technological UniversityFollow
David J. Flaspohler, Michigan Technological UniversityFollow
Christopher R. Webster, Michigan Technological UniversityFollow
Jesse Abrams, University of Georgia
Sara M. Almeida, Universidade Federal do Para
Stefan L. Arriaga‐weiss, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco
Brad Barnett, Michigan Technological University
Maíra R. Cardoso, Universidade Federal do Para
Pablo V. Cerqueira, Universidade Federal do Para
Diana Córdoba, Queen's University, Kingston
Marcos Persio Dantas‐santos, Universidade Federal do Para
Jennifer L. Dunn, Michigan Technological UniversityFollow
Amarella Eastmond, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán
Gina M. Jarvi, Michigan Technological University
Julian A. Licata, Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria Buenos Aires
Ena Mata‐zayas, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco
Rodrigo Medeiros, Conservation International Brazil
M. Azahara Mesa‐Jurado, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
Lízbeth Yamily Moo‐culebro, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco
Cassandra Moseley, University of Oregon
Erik Nielsen, Northern Arizona University
Colin Phifer, Michigan Technological UniversityFollow
Erin Pischke, Michigan Technological UniversityFollow
Chelsea Schelly, Michigan Technological UniversityFollow
Theresa Selfa, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Chelsea A. Silva, Northern Arizona University
Tatiana Souza, Conservation International Brazil
Sam R. Sweitz, Michigan Technological UniversityFollow

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Department of Social Sciences; College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Although renewable energy holds great promise in mitigating climate change, there are socioeconomic and ecological tradeoffs related to each form of renewable energy. Forest‐related bioenergy is especially controversial, because tree plantations often replace land that could be used to grow food crops and can have negative impacts on biodiversity. In this study, we examined public perceptions and ecosystem service tradeoffs between the provisioning services associated with cover types associated with bioenergy crop (feedstock) production and forest habitat‐related supporting services for birds, which themselves provide cultural and regulating services. We combined a social survey‐based assessment of local values and perceptions with measures of bioenergy feedstock production impacts on bird habitat in four countries: Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the USA. Respondents in all countries rated birds as important or very important (83–99% of respondents) and showed lower enthusiasm for, but still supported, the expansion of bioenergy feedstocks (48–60% of respondents). Bioenergy feedstock cover types in Brazil and Argentina had the greatest negative impact on birds but had a positive impact on birds in the USA. In Brazil and Mexico, public perceptions aligned fairly well with the realities of the impacts of potential bioenergy feedstocks on bird communities. However, in Argentina and the USA, perceptions of bioenergy impacts on birds did not match well with the data. Understanding people’s values and perceptions can help inform better policy and management decisions regarding land use changes.

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/). Publisher’s version of record:

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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