We assessed the potential impacts of land-use changes resulting from a change in the
current biofuel policy on biodiversity in Europe. We evaluated the possible impact of
both arable and woody biofuel crops on changes in distribution of 313 species pertaining
to different taxonomic groups. Using species-specific information on habitat suitability
as well as land use simulations for three different biofuel policy options, we downscaled
available species distribution data from the original resolution of 50 to 1 km. The
downscaled maps were then applied to analyse potential changes in habitat size and
species composition at different spatial levels. Our results indicate that more species
might suffer from habitat losses rather than benefit from a doubled biofuel target, while
abolishing the biofuel target would mainly have positive effects. However, the possible
impacts vary spatially and depend on the biofuel crop choice, with woody crops being
less detrimental than arable crops. Our results give an indication for policy and decision
makers of what might happen to biodiversity under a changed biofuel policy in the
European Union. The presented approach is considered to be innovative as to date no
comparable policy impact assessment has been applied to such a large set of key species
at the European scale.

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