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Special Issue "Short Rotation Woody Crop Production Systems for Ecosystem Services and Phytotechnologies"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Ronald S. Zalesny, Jr.

Team Leader, Research Plant Geneticist, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Institute for Applied Ecosystem Studies, 5985 Highway K Rhinelander, WI 54501, USA
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Phone: +1 715-362-1132
Interests: the genetic and physiological mechanisms regulating biomass production of short rotation woody crops (e.g., poplars and willows) grown for phytotechnologies and ecosystem services
Guest Editor
Dr. William L. Headlee

School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Arkansas at Monticello, 110 University Court Monticello, AR 71656, USA
Arkansas Forest Resources Center, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, 110 University Court Monticello, AR 71656, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: The effects of genotype, environment, and management on tree/forest growth, physical structure, and utilization by livestock and wildlife
Guest Editor
Dr. Raju Y. Soolanayakanahally

Saskatoon Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 107 Science Place Saskatoon, SK, S7N 0X2, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: poplar and willow genetic improvement, agroforestry, ecophysiology, production of bioenergy crops on marginal lands and phytoremediation
Guest Editor
Mr. Jim Richardson

Technical Director Poplar and Willow Council of Canada 1876 Saunderson Drive Ottawa, Ontario K1G 2C5, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: poplar and willow production, management and genetic improvement; agroforestry; bioenergy crops; ecosystem services; silviculture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Historically, international efforts in the development of short rotation woody crops (SRWCs) focused on the production of biomass for bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts, while research and deployment over the past decade has expanded to include broader objectives of achieving multiple ecosystem services. In particular, silvicultural prescriptions developed for SRWCs have been refined to include woody crop production systems for environmental benefits, such as carbon sequestration, water quality and quantity, and soil health. In addition, current systems have been expanded beyond traditional fiber production to other environmental technologies that incorporate SRWCs as vital components for phytotechnologies, urban afforestation, ecological restoration, and mine reclamation. In this Special Issue, we explore the broad range of current research dedicated to international “Short Rotation Woody Crop Production Systems for Ecosystem Services and Phytotechnologies”.

Dr. Ronald S. Zalesny, Jr.
Dr. William L. Headlee
Dr. Raju Y. Soolanayakanahally
Mr. Jim Richardson

Guest Editors

Keywords

  • biomass
  • carbon
  • forest restoration
  • mine reclamation
  • phytoremediation
  • soils
  • urban afforestation
  • water

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Quality Testing of Short Rotation Coppice Willow Cuttings
Forests 2018, 9(7), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070378
Received: 29 April 2018 / Revised: 13 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
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Abstract
The production and feasibility of Short Rotation Coppice depend on cutting early performance. The shoot and root biomass production of Salix cuttings in hydroponic conditions was studied. The amount of sprouted biomass after four weeks of growth depended on cutting the diameter, but
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The production and feasibility of Short Rotation Coppice depend on cutting early performance. The shoot and root biomass production of Salix cuttings in hydroponic conditions was studied. The amount of sprouted biomass after four weeks of growth depended on cutting the diameter, but the original position of the cutting along the rod or number of visible buds was not in correlation with biomass produced. Application of mineral fertilizer or soil originating from the willow plantation did not increase the total production. On the contrary, the addition of soil tended to decrease biomass production and we assumed this was a result of a shortage of light. Under the influence of fertilization, plants allocated greater biomass to roots. Comparison of different clones revealed that those with S. dasyclados genes tended to allocate less biomass to roots and the poorest-performing clone in our experiment, also had the lowest wood production in the plantation. The number of visible buds on the cutting was also clone-specific. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Performance of Five Willow Cultivars under Different Pedoclimatic Conditions and Rotation Cycles
Forests 2018, 9(6), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060349
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
A plant’s genotype, their environment, and the interaction between them influence its growth and development. In this study, we investigated the effect of these factors on the growth and biomass yield of willows in short-rotation coppice (SRC) under different harvesting cycles (i.e., two-
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A plant’s genotype, their environment, and the interaction between them influence its growth and development. In this study, we investigated the effect of these factors on the growth and biomass yield of willows in short-rotation coppice (SRC) under different harvesting cycles (i.e., two- vs. three-year rotations) in Quebec (Canada). Five of the commercial willow cultivars most common in Quebec, (i.e., Salix × dasyclados Wimm. ‘SV1’, Salix viminalis L. ‘5027’, Salix miyabeana Seeman ‘SX61’, ‘SX64’ and ‘SX67’) were grown in five sites with different pedoclimatic conditions. Yield not only varied significantly according to site and cultivar, but a significant interaction between rotation and site was also detected. Cultivar ‘5027’ showed significantly lower annual biomass yield in both two-year (average 10.8 t ha−1 year−1) and three-year rotation (average 11.2 t ha−1 year−1) compared to other cultivars (15.2 t ha−1 year−1 and 14.6 t ha−1 year−1 in two- and three-year rotation, respectively). Biomass yield also varied significantly with rotation cycle, but the extent of the response depended upon the site. While in some sites the average productivity of all cultivars remained fairly constant under different rotations (i.e., 17.4 vs. 16 t ha−1 year−1 in two- and three-year rotation, respectively), in other cases, biomass yield was higher in the two- than in the three-year rotation or vice versa. Evidence suggests that soil physico-chemical properties are better predictors of willow SRC plantation performance than climate variables. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Planting Density and Site Effects on Stem Dimensions, Stand Productivity, Biomass Partitioning, Carbon Stocks and Soil Nutrient Supply in Hybrid Poplar Plantations
Forests 2018, 9(6), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060293
Received: 17 April 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
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Abstract
In this study, planting density and site effects on hybrid poplar productivity and stem dimensions were evaluated on the mid-term and longer term (8 and 14 years) in southern Québec (Canada). We also evaluated the effects of planting density and site on biomass
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In this study, planting density and site effects on hybrid poplar productivity and stem dimensions were evaluated on the mid-term and longer term (8 and 14 years) in southern Québec (Canada). We also evaluated the effects of planting density and site on biomass accumulation and carbon stocks in different plantation compartments, on biomass partitioning at the stand-level, on soil carbon stocks and on soil nutrient supply rate after 14 years. The experimental design consisted of three replicate poplar stands located along a site fertility gradient. Each stand contained six planting densities (ranging from 494 to 1975 trees/ha) and a single genotype (Populus canadensis × P. maximowiczii hybrid). Planting density had a large effect on stem dimensions, but a minor effect on stand volume, aboveground woody biomass production, and aboveground biomass carbon stocks. Site selection and tree survival were more important factors affecting these variables. At all sites, and independent of planting density, mean annual volume increments were also higher after 14 vs. 8 years. On fertile sites, strong correlations between area per tree at planting and biomass partitioning, carbon allocation belowground, soil nutrient supply rate and soil carbon stocks were observed. Aboveground, higher competition for light with increasing planting density resulted in an increase in the stem to branch ratio. Belowground, higher competition for soil resources with increasing planting density reduced soil macronutrient availability (except for potassium), which likely stimulated carbon allocation belowground and carbon accumulation in the soil. Over the longer-term, higher density plantations of poplars could provide greater benefits in terms of carbon storage belowground (soil and roots). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Investigating the Effect of a Mixed Mycorrhizal Inoculum on the Productivity of Biomass Plantation Willows Grown on Marginal Farm Land
Forests 2018, 9(4), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040185
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 30 March 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
Inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi, proven mediators of soil fertility, has great potential in agricultural and silvicultural systems. This is particularly true in short-rotation coppices (SRCs), where questions of food displacement and fertilization are causes of concern for researchers and policy makers. We set
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Inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi, proven mediators of soil fertility, has great potential in agricultural and silvicultural systems. This is particularly true in short-rotation coppices (SRCs), where questions of food displacement and fertilization are causes of concern for researchers and policy makers. We set out to thoroughly test if current inoculation methods, coupled with reduced fertilization, can demonstrate a growth benefit in SRC willows on marginal lands. Roughly 21,600 Salix miyabeana Seeman (‘SX61’ and ‘SX64’) were planted in a hierarchical design with inoculation treatments randomized first, cultivars randomized second, and fertilization treatments randomized third. This process was repeated across three fields of different marginal soil type (which, in our experiment, were given the descriptive names Sandy, Rocky, and Dry). The inoculum species, Rhizoglomus irregulare Błaszk., Wubet, Renker & Buscot Sieverd., G.A. Silva & Oehl and Hebeloma longicaudum (Pers.) P. Kumm., were chosen as they are most likely to be commercially available, and because they represent both arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal inoculum types. Growth was measured over 2.5 years, or three growing seasons. Fertilization treatment (75 kg/ha Nitrogen), however, was only applied during the second growing season. Our results conclusively showed no benefit from mycorrhizal inoculation across fields that exhibited significantly different growth rates, as well as significant differentiation from fertilization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Evaluation of Radiation Use Efficiency and Leaf Area Index Development for the Estimation of Biomass Accumulation in Short Rotation Poplar and Annual Field Crops
Forests 2018, 9(4), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040168
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
We evaluated the long-term pattern of leaf area index (LAI) dynamics and radiation use efficiency (RUE) in short rotation poplar in uncoppice (single stem) and coppice (multi-stem) plantations, and compared them to annual field crops (AFCs) as an alternative for bioenergy production while
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We evaluated the long-term pattern of leaf area index (LAI) dynamics and radiation use efficiency (RUE) in short rotation poplar in uncoppice (single stem) and coppice (multi-stem) plantations, and compared them to annual field crops (AFCs) as an alternative for bioenergy production while being more sensitive to weather fluctuation and climate change. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of LAI and RUE as indicators for bioenergy production and indicators of response to changing environmental conditions. For this study, we selected poplar clone J-105 (Populus nigra L. × P. maximowiczii A. Henry) and AFCs such as barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), maize (Zea mays L.), and oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.), and compared their aboveground dry mass (AGDM) production in relation to their LAI development and RUE. The results of the study showed the long-term maximum LAI (LAImax) to be 9.5 in coppice poplar when compared to AFCs, where LAImax did not exceed the value 6. The RUE varied between 1.02 and 1.48 g MJ−1 in short rotation poplar and between 0.72 and 2.06 g MJ−1 in AFCs. We found both LAI and RUE contributed to AGDM production in short rotation poplar and RUE only contributed in AFCs. The study confirms that RUE may be considered an AGDM predictor of short rotation poplar and AFCs. This may be utilized for empirical estimates of yields and also contribute to improve the models of short rotation poplar and AFCs for the precise prediction of biomass accumulation in different environmental conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Phytoremediation Efficacy of Salix discolor and S. eriocephela on Adjacent Acidic Clay and Shale Overburden on a Former Mine Site: Growth, Soil, and Foliage Traits
Forests 2017, 8(12), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8120475
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
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Abstract
Plants regularly experience suboptimal environments, but this can be particularly acute on highly-disturbed mine sites. Two North American willows—Salix discolor Muhl. (DIS) and S. eriocephala Michx. (ERI)—were established in common-garden field tests on two adjacent coal mine spoil sites: one with high
[...] Read more.
Plants regularly experience suboptimal environments, but this can be particularly acute on highly-disturbed mine sites. Two North American willows—Salix discolor Muhl. (DIS) and S. eriocephala Michx. (ERI)—were established in common-garden field tests on two adjacent coal mine spoil sites: one with high clay content, the other with shale overburden. The high clay content site had 44% less productivity, a pH of 3.6, 42% clay content, high water holding capacity at saturation (64%), and high soil electrical conductivity (EC) of 3.9 mS cm−1. The adjacent shale overburden site had a pH of 6.8, and after removing 56.5% stone content, a high sand content (67.2%), low water holding capacity at saturation (23%), and an EC of 0.9 mS cm−1. The acidic clay soil had significantly greater Na (20×), Ca (2×), Mg (4.4×), S (10×), C (12×) and N (2×) than the shale overburden. Foliar concentrations from the acidic clay site had significantly greater Mg (1.5×), Mn (3.3×), Fe (5.6×), Al (4.6×), and S (2×) than the shale overburden, indicating that these elements are more soluble under acidic conditions. There was no overall species difference in growth; however, survival was greater for ERI than DIS on both sites, thus overall biomass yield was greater for ERI than DIS. Foliar concentrations of ERI were significantly greater than those of DIS for N (1.3×), Ca (1.5×), Mg (1.2×), Fe (2×), Al (1.5×), and S (1.5×). There were no significant negative relationships between metal concentrations and growth or biomass yield. Both willows showed large variation among genotypes within each species in foliar concentrations, and some clones of DIS and ERI had up to 16× the Fe and Al uptake on the acidic site versus the adjacent overburden. Genetic selection among species and genotypes may be useful for reclamation activities aimed at reducing specific metal concentrations on abandoned mine sites. Results show that, despite having a greater water holding capacity, the greater acidity of the clay site resulted in greater metal mobility—in particular Na—and thus a greater EC. It appears that the decline in productivity was not due to toxicity effects from the increased mobility of metals, but rather to low pH and moisture stress from very high soil Na/EC. Full article
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