Special Issue "Sustainability of Crops Biomass Production for Bioenergy and Bioproducts"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Innovative Cropping Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Cristina Patanè
Guest Editor
CNR-Istituto per la BioEconomia (IBE), Sede Secondaria di Catania, Via P. Gaifami 18, 95126 Catania, Italy
Interests: seed germination;sustainable use of irrigation water; crop management; fruit quality; biomass crops
Prof. Salvatore Cosentino
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment ,University of Catania,Italy
Interests: crop production; agronomy; biomass; energy; crop production; irrigation; crop management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In agricultural activities, efficiency in productivity was mostly expressed in terms of yield in the past. More recently, water and energy-saving production systems have become increasingly important in a global climate change context, where a greater sustainability in the use of natural resources in food and agricultural production systems is required.

Biomass crops are increasing in importance and area around the world. They have the potential to supply a significant portion of the world’s energy needs, as well as raw material for paper, textile, food industries, green building, panel furniture, etc. (bioproducts). An important step in promoting the use of crop biomass for bioenergy and bioproducts is to increase the sustainability of their production chain.

This Special Issue will focus on “Sustainability of Crops Biomass Production for Bioenergy and Bioproducts”. We invite authors to contribute to this Special Issue with novel research articles and reviews covering all topics in crop biomass production. Topics of particular interest for this issue concern the sustainable use of natural resources, the use of environmentally friendly fertilization strategies, the adoption of water-saving methods, and modeling, crop physiology, climatic adaptation, lifecycle assessment, biomass for energy and bioproduct quality, biomass crops for phytoremediation, and germplasm exploitation for a sustainable agriculture. Articles concerning all aspects of agronomic management and the adoption of new technologies applied to crop biomass production for natural resource use efficiency improvement in marginal lands are also welcome.

Papers submitted to this Special Issue will be subject to peer review in order to allow a rapid dissemination of results.

Dr. Cristina Patanè
Prof. Salvatore Cosentino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


agronomic management;


biomass crops;



Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Soil Water Content on Yield, Composition, Energy, and Water Indicators of the Bioenergy Grass Saccharum spontaneum ssp. aegyptiacum under Three-Growing Seasons
Agronomy 2020, 10(8), 1105; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10081105 - 30 Jul 2020
Raising water and energy productivity in agriculture can contribute to reducing the pressure on the limited freshwater availability and non-renewable energy sources. Bioenergy perennial grasses are efficient from a water perspective and can afford a low-energy cultivation system; however, crop selection and cultivation [...] Read more.
Raising water and energy productivity in agriculture can contribute to reducing the pressure on the limited freshwater availability and non-renewable energy sources. Bioenergy perennial grasses are efficient from a water perspective and can afford a low-energy cultivation system; however, crop selection and cultivation practices for minimizing land use change and maximizing resource use efficiencies remain a challenging task in view of sustainable bioeconomy development. The present work investigated the soil water effect on a long-term plantation of Saccharum (Saccharum spontaneum ssp. aegyptiacum), a bioenergy perennial grass holding great promise for semiarid Mediterranean areas. The plantation was in its 13th year following establishment and was subjected to three levels of irrigation for three successive growing seasons. Regression models between crop water use (CWU) and productivity, biomass composition, energy, and water indicators showed different prediction curves. Raising CWU (from 230 to 920 mm) enhanced the dry biomass yield (from 14.8 to 30.1 Mg ha−1) and the net energy value (from 257.6 to 511 GJ ha−1). On the same CWU range, unirrigated crops improved the energy efficiency (from 99.8 to 58.5 GJ ha−1), the energy productivity (from 5.6 to 3.4 Mg GJ−1) and the water productivity (from 114.5 to 56.1 MJ m−3) by reducing the water footprint (from 8.7 to 17.8 m3 GJ−1). Biomass composition was also superior in unirrigated crops, as the lower heating value, structural polysaccharides, and the acid detergent lignin were higher, while ash and soluble compounds were lower. Present findings demonstrated the good yield levels and persistence of Saccharum, improving our knowledge of plant responses to changing soil water availability to maximize energy and conserve natural resources, paving the way for sustainable bioeconomy development in the Mediterranean area. Full article
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