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Land 2015, 4(2), 413-435; doi:10.3390/land4020413

Assessing Site Availability of Aspen and Northern Hardwoods for Potential Feedstock Development in Michigan: A Case Study

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
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Academic Editors: H. Ricardo Grau and Andrew Millington
Received: 2 February 2015 / Accepted: 6 May 2015 / Published: 14 May 2015
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Abstract

The importance of wood and wood byproducts as biomass feedstocks is of increasing interest as a source of ethanol and electricity. Second generation woody feedstock sources in Michigan, e.g., hybrid poplar and hybrid willow (Populus spp.), and native forests, particularly aspen and northern hardwoods, are a potential source of woody biomass for these uses. This study provides a geographic information system (GIS) framework for assessing the current spatial extent of aspen and northern hardwoods) and their proximity to roads. Additionally, the potential for expanding the area of these feedstock sources based on pre-European settlement vegetation cover is assessed. Utilizing GIS technology to compile, edit and analyze available geospatial data (e.g., present day and pre-European settlement land use/cover, soils, road infrastructure, and land ownership) for counties located in the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula and northern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan provides a robust framework for various management scenarios to be evaluated in a cost effective manner and foster better decision making. View Full-Text
Keywords: woody biomass; aspen; northern hardwoods; biomass; biofuel; land use; Michigan; GIS woody biomass; aspen; northern hardwoods; biomass; biofuel; land use; Michigan; GIS
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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

Alian, S.; Maclean, A. Assessing Site Availability of Aspen and Northern Hardwoods for Potential Feedstock Development in Michigan: A Case Study. Land 2015, 4, 413-435.

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