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Size matters: scaling principles for the prediction of the ecological footprint of biofuels

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SIZE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 6525 EZ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙670˙406 €
 EC max contribution 1˙670˙406 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-09-01   to  2020-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

There is a major scientific and societal challenge in quantifying and reducing ecological footprints of products. Ecological footprint calculations suffer severely from a limited availability of data, such as the amount of energy and materials associated with the production, use and disposal of products. Furthermore, ecological footprints pertaining to biodiversity are typically biased towards a limited number of well-known species with a focus on relative species richness, leaving out ecosystem service attributes of biodiversity. As it is virtually impossible to collect all the empirical data required for all species, there is an urgent need to develop an operational framework to derive representative ecological footprints with limited data requirements. I propose to develop a novel framework based on a set of unifying scaling principles related to the production size of products and the body size of species. These scaling principles will be developed to predict key characteristics of biofuel production, such as energy return of investment, agricultural land requirements and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as global impact indicators, such as species extinction risks. The focus of the research is on (1) liquid biofuel production (bioethanol and biodiesel) from various first and second generation feedstock as an important but controversial renewable energy source (2) vascular plant diversity, as the common basis of all terrestrial ecosystems, and (3) habitat destruction and climate change, as important drivers of global change. Together with the PI, two PhD students, two Postdocs and a technical assistant will work on different components of the new predictive models, substantially enhancing the scientific understanding of how to provide reliable ecological footprints in practice.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Florian Knobloch, Steef V. Hanssen, Aileen Lam, Hector Pollitt, Pablo Salas, Unnada Chewpreecha, Mark A. J. Huijbregts, Jean-Francois Mercure
Net emission reductions from electric cars and heat pumps in 59 world regions over time
published pages: , ISSN: 2398-9629, DOI: 10.1038/s41893-020-0488-7
Nature Sustainability 2020-04-07
2020 Coline C. F. Boonman, Frank Langevelde, Imma Oliveras, Jeremy Couédon, Natascha Luijken, David Martini, Elmar M. Veenendaal
On the importance of root traits in seedlings of tropical tree species
published pages: , ISSN: 0028-646X, DOI: 10.1111/nph.16370
New Phytologist 2020-04-03
2019 Alexandra Marques, Inês S. Martins, Thomas Kastner, Christoph Plutzar, Michaela C. Theurl, Nina Eisenmenger, Mark A. J. Huijbregts, Richard Wood, Konstantin Stadler, Martin Bruckner, Joana Canelas, Jelle P. Hilbers, Arnold Tukker, Karlheinz Erb, Henrique M. Pereira
Increasing impacts of land use on biodiversity and carbon sequestration driven by population and economic growth
published pages: 628-637, ISSN: 2397-334X, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-019-0824-3
Nature Ecology & Evolution 3/4 2020-04-03
2019 Aafke M. Schipper, Jelle P. Hilbers, Johan R. Meijer, Laura H. Antão, Ana Benítez‐López, Melinda M. J. Jonge, Luuk H. Leemans, Eddy Scheper, Rob Alkemade, Jonathan C. Doelman, Sido Mylius, Elke Stehfest, Detlef P. Vuuren, Willem‐Jan Zeist, Mark A. J. Huijbregts
Projecting terrestrial biodiversity intactness with GLOBIO 4
published pages: 760-771, ISSN: 1354-1013, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14848
Global Change Biology 26/2 2020-04-03
2019 Steef V. Hanssen, Mark A.J. Huijbregts
Assessing the environmental benefits of utilising residual flows
published pages: 104433, ISSN: 0921-3449, DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104433
Resources, Conservation and Recycling 150 2020-04-03
2018 Luca Santini, Nick J. B. Isaac, Luigi Maiorano, Gentile Francesco Ficetola, Mark A. J. Huijbregts, Chris Carbone, Wilfried Thuiller
Global drivers of population density in terrestrial vertebrates
published pages: 968-979, ISSN: 1466-822X, DOI: 10.1111/geb.12758
Global Ecology and Biogeography 27/8 2020-04-03
2019 Pieter M. F. Elshout, Marijn van der Velde, Rosalie van Zelm, Zoran J. N. Steinmann, Mark A. J. Huijbregts
Comparing greenhouse gas footprints and payback times of crop-based biofuel production worldwide
published pages: 1-7, ISSN: 1759-7269, DOI: 10.1080/17597269.2019.1630056
Biofuels 2020-04-03
2020 Coline C. F. Boonman, Ana Benítez-López, Aafke M. Schipper, Wilfried Thuiller, Madhur Anand, Bruno E. L. Cerabolini, Johannes H. C. Cornelissen, Andres Gonzalez-Melo, Wesley N. Hattingh, Pedro Higuchi, Daniel C. Laughlin, Vladimir G. Onipchenko, Josep Peñuelas, Lourens Poorter, Nadejda A. Soudzilovskaia, Mark A. J. Huijbregts, Luca Santini
Assessing the reliability of predicted plant trait distributions at the global scale
published pages: , ISSN: 1466-822X, DOI: 10.1111/geb.13086
Global Ecology and Biogeography 2020-04-03
2019 Swinda F. Pfau, Steef V. Hanssen, Menno W. Straatsma, K. Remon Koopman, Rob S.E.W. Leuven, Mark A.J. Huijbregts
Life cycle greenhouse gas benefits or burdens of residual biomass from landscape management
published pages: 698-706, ISSN: 0959-6526, DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.02.001
Journal of Cleaner Production 220 2020-04-03
2019 Steef V. Hanssen, Vassilis Daioglou, Zoran J. N. Steinmann, Stefan Frank, Alexander Popp, Thierry Brunelle, Pekka Lauri, Tomoko Hasegawa, Mark A. J. Huijbregts, Detlef P. Van Vuuren
Biomass residues as twenty-first century bioenergy feedstock—a comparison of eight integrated assessment models
published pages: , ISSN: 0165-0009, DOI: 10.1007/s10584-019-02539-x
Climatic Change 2020-04-03
2019 Luca Santini, Stuart H. M. Butchart, Carlo Rondinini, Ana Benítez‐López, Jelle P. Hilbers, Aafke M. Schipper, Mirza Cengic, Joseph A. Tobias, Mark A. J. Huijbregts
Applying habitat and population‐density models to land‐cover time series to inform IUCN Red List assessments
published pages: 1084-1093, ISSN: 0888-8892, DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13279
Conservation Biology 33/5 2020-04-03
2019 Ibrahim M. Algunaibet, Carlos Pozo, Ángel Galán-Martín, Mark A. J. Huijbregts, Niall Mac Dowell, Gonzalo Guillén-Gosálbez
Powering sustainable development within planetary boundaries
published pages: 1890-1900, ISSN: 1754-5692, DOI: 10.1039/c8ee03423k
Energy & Environmental Science 12/6 2020-04-03
2019 Pieter M. F. Elshout, Rosalie Zelm, Marijn Velde, Zoran Steinmann, Mark A. J. Huijbregts
Global relative species loss due to first‐generation biofuel production for the transport sector
published pages: 763-772, ISSN: 1757-1693, DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12597
GCB Bioenergy 11/6 2020-04-03
2020 Ibrahim M. Algunaibet, Carlos Pozo, Ángel Galán-Martín, Mark A. J. Huijbregts, Niall Mac Dowell, Gonzalo Guillén-Gosálbez
Reply to the ‘Comment on “Powering sustainable development within planetary boundaries”’ by Y. Yang, Energy Environ. Sci. , 2020, 13 , DOI: 10.1039/C9EE01176E
published pages: 313-316, ISSN: 1754-5692, DOI: 10.1039/c9ee03146d
Energy & Environmental Science 13/1 2020-04-03
2017 Steef V. Hanssen, Anna S. Duden, Martin Junginger, Virginia H. Dale, Floor van der Hilst
Wood pellets, what else? Greenhouse gas parity times of European electricity from wood pellets produced in the south-eastern United States using different softwood feedstocks
published pages: , ISSN: 1757-1693, DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12426
GCB Bioenergy 2020-02-21
2018 Melinda M.J. de Jonge, Jelle P. Hilbers, Eelke Jongejans, Wim A. Ozinga, A. Jan Hendriks, Mark A.J. Huijbregts
Relating plant height to demographic rates and extinction vulnerability
published pages: 104-111, ISSN: 0006-3207, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.02.008
Biological Conservation 220 2020-02-21

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