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Forests 2016, 7(4), 74; doi:10.3390/f7040074

Sub-Soiling and Genotype Selection Improves Populus Productivity Grown on a North Carolina Sandy Soil

Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, Campus Box 8006, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8006, USA
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Academic Editor: Eric J. Jokela
Received: 26 February 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2016 / Accepted: 16 March 2016 / Published: 25 March 2016
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Abstract

This study reports the stem volume of 10 Populus genotypes in a randomized split-plot design with different tillage treatments (disking versus sub-soiling) after two years of growth. Height, diameter at breast height (DBH), stem aboveground volume index, survival, Melampsora rust resistance, leaf area index (LAI), chlorophyll content, and foliar nitrogen concentration (Foliar N) were measured to identify how tillage treatments might alter poplar growth. Stem volume index and LAI were positively correlated and differed significantly among tillage treatments, taxa, and genotypes. Melampsora rust resistance was also positively correlated with volume index, but significant differences were only detected among taxa and genotypes. Foliar N and chlorophyll did not correlate to stem volume for genotypes or tillage treatments. Overall, sub-soiling yielded 37% more estimated volume compared to disking. Within the sub-soiled treatments, four genotypes (140, 176, 185, and 356) had high survival (>80%) and produced substantial stem volume (>32 dm3·tree−1). These findings show that tillage practices do impact poplar stem volumes after two years and that sub-soiling improves productivity for poplar short rotation woody crops on loamy fine-sandy soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: disking; short rotation woody crops; tillage; site preparation; volume index; Melampsora rust disking; short rotation woody crops; tillage; site preparation; volume index; Melampsora rust
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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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Shifflett, S.D.; Hazel, D.W.; Guthrie Nichols, E. Sub-Soiling and Genotype Selection Improves Populus Productivity Grown on a North Carolina Sandy Soil. Forests 2016, 7, 74.

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