Canadian Forest Service Publications

Allometric relationships in coppice biomass production for two North American willows (Salix spp.) across three different sites. 2014. Mosseler, A.; Major, J.E.; Labrecque, M.; Larocque, G.R. Forest Ecology and Management 320:190-196.

Year: 2014

Available from: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35515

Language: English

CFS Availability: Order paper copy (free)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2014.02.027

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Abstract

Biomass yield and component coppice growth traits were assessed for two native North American willow species, Salix discolor (DIS) and S. eriocephala (ERI), established together in clonally replicated common garden field tests on three sites of differing quality but similar climates. These willows are widely distributed across eastern and central Canada and were selected for use in biomass production plantations. There was no species effect on the average stem height-diameter relationship, but there was a strong site effect. Increased number of stems within a coppice decreases average stem diameter but not average stem height. Yield is positively related to site quality and number of stems per coppice but also to the interaction between species and number of stems per coppice. Allometric relationships between coppice stem basal diameter, stem height, number of stems per coppice, and biomass yield (Mt ha-1) clearly reflected site quality differences and could be used in the same way that stem height–diameter relationships at a specific age have been used for single stemmed trees to define site quality (site index) in forest timber production. Coppice stem height and basal stem diameter measurements on up to 20 stems per coppice indicated that measurements based on the three longest stems per coppice had the strongest relationship to biomass yield (R2 = 0.813) and that the three stems with the largest basal stem diameter had the strongest relationship to biomass yield (R2 = 0.781).

Plain Language Summary

This study aimed to understand relationships between biomass yield and various coppice growth traits in two native North American willow species, Salix discolor and S. eriocephala, established together in clonally replicated common garden field tests on three sites (Montreal, QC, Fredericton, NB, and Minto, NB) of differing quality but similar climates. These willows are widely distributed across eastern and central Canada and were selected for use in biomass production plantations for bioenergy and for emerging biomass-based chemicals and materials industries. Biomass yield was strongly and positively related to site quality and could be used in the same way that stem height at a specific age has been used for single stemmed trees to define site quality (site index) in forest timber production. Plant stem length and basal stem diameter measurements on up to 20 stems per plant indicated that measurements based on the average of the three longest stems per plant had the strongest relationship to biomass yield and provided a useful, nondestructive means for estimating biomass yield. Selected clones of these two willows can be cost-effectively established using unrooted stem cuttings and short-rotation biomass crops based on 2-year-old coppice growth can produce high quantities of biomass on site types of widely varying quality.

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