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Forests 2014, 5(12), 3107-3130; doi:10.3390/f5123107

Biomass and Volume Yield in Mature Hybrid Poplar Plantations on Temperate Abandoned Farmland

1
Fiducie de recherche sur la forêt des Cantons-de-l'Est/Eastern Townships Forest Research Trust, 1 rue Principale, Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, QC J0B 2M0, Canada
2
Department of Biology, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, SK S4S 0A2, Canada
3
Sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888 succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 October 2014 / Revised: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 2 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
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Abstract

In this study, we developed clone-specific allometric relationships, with the objective of calculating volume and biomass production after 13 years in 8 poplar plantations, located across an environmental gradient, and composed of 5 unrelated hybrid poplar clones. Allometry was found to be very similar for clones MxB-915311, NxM-3729 and DNxM-915508, all having P. maximoviczii parentage. Clones DxN-3570 and TxD-3230 also had a similar allometry; for a given DBH they have a lower stem volume, stem biomass and branch biomass than P. maximoviczii hybrids. Strong Site × Clone interactions were observed for volume and woody biomass growth, with DxN and TxD hybrids only productive on low elevation fertile sites, whereas P. maximovizcii hybrids were also very productive on higher elevation sites with moderate to high soil fertility. At the site level (5 clones mean), yield reached 27.5 and 22.7 m3/ha/yr. on the two best sites (high fertility and low elevation), confirming the great potential of southern Québec (Canada) for poplar culture. The productivity gap between the most and least productive sites has widened from year 8 to year 13, highlighting the need for high quality abandoned farmland site selection in terms of climate and soil fertility. Although clone selection could optimize yield across the studied environmental gradient, it cannot fully compensate for inadequate site selection. View Full-Text
Keywords: Populus; afforestation; agroforestry; southern Québec (Canada); allometry; biomass and volume equations; site fertility; environmental gradient Populus; afforestation; agroforestry; southern Québec (Canada); allometry; biomass and volume equations; site fertility; environmental gradient
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

Truax, B.; Gagnon, D.; Fortier, J.; Lambert, F. Biomass and Volume Yield in Mature Hybrid Poplar Plantations on Temperate Abandoned Farmland. Forests 2014, 5, 3107-3130.

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