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Forests 2014, 5(10), 2505-2520; doi:10.3390/f5102505

Stem Biomass Production of Paulownia elongata × P. fortunei under Low Irrigation in a Semi-Arid Environment

1
Science and Technology Department of Agroforestry and Genetics, Higher Technical School of Agricultural and Forest Engineering, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Universitario s/n, CP 02071, Albacete, Spain
2
Renewable Energy Research Institute (Section of Environment and Forest Resources), University of Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Universitario s/n, CP 02071, Albacete, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2014 / Revised: 23 September 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 21 October 2014
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Abstract

In semi-arid regions, afforestation with fast-growing species cultured with low irrigation can be an effective approach for environmental protection. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the stem biomass production of Paulownia in a semi-arid climate and clay soils under contrasting low-irrigation and fertilization treatments. The stem biomass at the stand level was estimated by applying allometric equations fitted in sample resprouts and inventory data. The results show that biomass production improved when either irrigation or fertilizer was added, but the combination of a higher dose of irrigation and fertilization did not lead to the highest biomass production; thus water availability was the main factor controlling biomass production. Under the higher dose of irrigation, the absence of a fertilizer effect would be due in part to the fertile soil, which could supply sufficient nutrients for Paulownia growth at the higher level of soil moisture. The stem biomass estimated ranged from 2.14 to 4.50 t×ha−1 (lower irrigation dose without fertilization, and higher irrigation with fertilization). The greater production was similar to other studies in the Mediterranean area receiving more irrigation. Thus, this study permitted us to understand the potential of Paulownia to provide biomass in semi-arid environments with low irrigation due to water use restrictions. View Full-Text
Keywords: fast-growing species; biomass plantations; water-use restrictions; fertilization; Mediterranean climate fast-growing species; biomass plantations; water-use restrictions; fertilization; Mediterranean climate
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

García-Morote, F.A.; López-Serrano, F.R.; Martínez-García, E.; Andrés-Abellán, M.; Dadi, T.; Candel, D.; Rubio, E.; Lucas-Borja, M.E. Stem Biomass Production of Paulownia elongata × P. fortunei under Low Irrigation in a Semi-Arid Environment. Forests 2014, 5, 2505-2520.

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