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Research article2014Peer reviewed

Effects of competition between short-rotation willow and weeds on performance of different clones and associated weed flora during the first harvest cycle

Albertsson, Johannes; Verwijst, Theo; Hansson, David; Bertholdsson, Nils-Ove; Åhman, Inger


In order to assess the ability of willow clones to compete with weeds, willow shoot biomass and plant mortality were measured over the first harvest cycle for 10 commercial and two breeding clones at three different sites in southern Sweden. Two levels of weed pressure (weeded and not weeded) were employed and the effects of cutback or not after the first growing season were compared for willow clones under weed pressure. There were significant differences between clones in their ability to compete with weeds, measured as willow shoot growth reduction in plots with weeds, at two of the three sites. However, shoot biomass reduction due to weeds was large in all the clones, with Stina and SW Inger among the least affected. Mean shoot growth reduction after the first harvest cycle for the commercial clones was 68.3%, 91.2% and 94.3% at the three sites and the corresponding plant mortality was 9.8%, 57.3% and 56.2% under weed pressure. Significant clonal differences in yield, under weed-free conditions, were found at all three sites. Significant clonesite interactions were found for both growth reduction and biomass production. Cutting back shoots after the establishment season, under weed pressure, resulted in higher mean plant mortality and lower mean willow shoot biomass after one harvest cycle at two of the three sites. The weed flora was initially dominated by annuals, but became dominated by perennial weeds during the first harvest cycle. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Biomass yield; Cutback; Growth reduction; Plant mortality; Salix; Short-rotation coppice

Published in

Biomass and Bioenergy
2014, Volume: 70, pages: 364-372 Publisher: PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD