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Simulated Biomass, Climate Change Impacts, and Nitrogen Management to Achieve Switchgrass Biofuel Production at Diverse Sites in U.S.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Temple, TX 76502, USA
Department of Engineering and Technology, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Commerce, TX 75429, USA
Convergence Center for Watershed Management, IWMI, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 16489, Korea
Blackland Research & Extension Center, Texas A&M AgriLife, Temple, TX 76502, USA
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77842, USA
USDA-ARS, Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory, Temple, TX 76502, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(4), 503;
Received: 28 January 2020 / Revised: 26 March 2020 / Accepted: 30 March 2020 / Published: 2 April 2020
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a C4, warm season, perennial native grass that has been strongly recommended as an ideal biofuel feedstock. Accurate forecasting of switchgrass yield across a geographically diverse region and under future climate conditions is essential for determining realistic future ethanol production from switchgrass. This study compiled a switchgrass database through reviewing the existing literature from field trials across the U.S. Using observed switchgrass data, a process-based model (ALMANAC) was developed. The ALMANAC simulation results showed that crop management had more effect on yield than location. The ALMANAC model consists of functional relationships that provide a better understanding of interactions among plant physiological processes and environmental factors (water, soil, climate, and nutrients) giving realistic predictions in different climate conditions. This model was used to quantify the impacts of climate change on switchgrass yields. Simulated lowland switchgrass would have more yield increases between Illinois and Ohio in future (2021–2050) under both Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 pathways with low N fertilizer inputs than high N fertilizer inputs. There was no significant effect of climate variability on upland simulated yields, which means that N fertilization is a key factor in controlling upland switchgrass yields under future climate conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: biofuel feedstock; perennial grass; climate change; nitrogen fertilization biofuel feedstock; perennial grass; climate change; nitrogen fertilization
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Kim, S.; Kim, S.; Cho, J.; Park, S.; Jarrín Perez, F.X.; Kiniry, J.R. Simulated Biomass, Climate Change Impacts, and Nitrogen Management to Achieve Switchgrass Biofuel Production at Diverse Sites in U.S.. Agronomy 2020, 10, 503.

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