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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2006

Biomass production of intensively grown poplars in the southernmost part of Sweden: Observations of characters, traits and growth potential

Christersson, L


Observation of possibilities and problems was performed when trying to optimise growing conditions for high biomass production by irrigation and fertilisation in a clone test of poplar on sandy soil in the south of Sweden. One hundred and eight clones of pure Populus trichocarpa and hybrids between P. trichocarpa and P. deltoides were evaluated for growth rate, phenology, quality, frost hardiness and pest resistance. Some fertilisation experiments were performed. In some years, some unfertilised clones produced up to 2 kg m(-2) of woody dry biomass. Some fertilised clones produced almost twice as much in the years following fertilisation. Stem canker was the main cause of serious injuries in all hybrids, but pure P. trichocarpa stems were not affected. The cimbicid sawfly (Cimbex lutea) caused damage to the quality of the trees in the form of curved stems of some clones. Winter frost killed top shoots of the hybrids in a year with particularly low winter temperatures with long duration. Summer frost (in June) killed up to 1 m of some young top shoots in some clones in the first 3-4 years. The results are discussed in terms of radiation utilisation efficiency, energy efficient ratio, and water and nutrient use efficiency. The discussion finishes with the conclusion that fertilisation, but not irrigation, can be economically motivated. If irrigation is to be economic, then the main objective of the whole operation should be to produce drinkable water from water polluted by society. Biomass production would then be a bonus. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Published in

Biomass and Bioenergy
2006, Volume: 30, number: 6, pages: 497-508

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science
    Renewable Bioenergy Research

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