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Forests 2014, 5(5), 901-918; doi:10.3390/f5050901
Article

Scientific Basis for Sustainable Management of Eucalyptus and Populus as Short-Rotation Woody Crops in the U.S.

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Received: 19 February 2014 / Revised: 21 April 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 14 May 2014
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Abstract

Short rotation woody crops (SRWC), fast growing tree species that are harvested on short, repeated intervals, can augment traditional fiber sources. These crops have economic and environmental benefits stemming from their capability of supplying fiber on a reduced land base in close proximity to users and when sensitive sites cannot be accessed. Eucalyptus and Populus appear to be genera with the greatest potential to provide supplemental fiber in the U.S. Optimal productivity can be achieved through practices that overcome site limitations and by choosing the most appropriate sites, species, and clones. Some Eucalyptus species are potentially invasive, yet field studies across multiple continents suggest they are slower to disperse than predicted by risk assessments. Some studies have found lower plant and animal diversity in SRWC systems compared to mature, native forests, but greater than some alterative land uses and strongly influenced by stand management, land use history, and landscape context. Eucalyptus established in place of grasslands, arable lands, and, in some cases, native forests can reduce streamflow and lower water tables due to higher interception and transpiration rates but results vary widely, are scale dependent, and are most evident in drier regions.
Keywords: biomass; eucalypts; poplar; certification; bioenergy; invasiveness; exotic; biodiversity; water; plantations biomass; eucalypts; poplar; certification; bioenergy; invasiveness; exotic; biodiversity; water; plantations
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.

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Vance, E.D.; Loehle, C.; Wigley, T.B.; Weatherford, P. Scientific Basis for Sustainable Management of Eucalyptus and Populus as Short-Rotation Woody Crops in the U.S.. Forests 2014, 5, 901-918.

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