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The Influence of Establishing Native Short-rotation Woody Crops on Carbon Cycling Planted on Retired Agricultural Lands of the Lower MS Alluvial Valley

Description :  This research will evaluate the effects of species and stand density management regimes of short-rotation wood crop production (SRWC) on retired agricultural lands in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Focus will be on the role of SRWC on 1.) site carbon sequestration as defined by net ecosystem C exchange (NEC = total net primary productivity - soil respiration), and 2.) microbial biomass C (MBC). A fully replicated factorial experiment will be installed on shrink-swell clay soil. Differences among two native, fast-growing, woody perennial energy crops eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides Bartr. ex Marsh.), and black willow (Salix nigra Marsh.), and stand density management regimes (planting density combined with harvest regime) will be investigated. We hypothesize that management intensity and energy crop species will have interactive effects on NEC and MBC. Increased stand density and harvest frequency will increase NEC, but the C sequestration benefits may not make up for the increased management cost. These data will be needed to estimate added value from increased site C sequestration. Economic and energy analyses from this work will provide landowners with tools to make more informed decision on how best to manage their land to capture values from ecosystem services.
Principal Investigator:  Tyree, Michael  --  Forestry
Collaborators:  Blazier, M., Patterson, W., and Leininger, T.
Funding Agencies:  USDA
Amount Awarded:  $88,255

Start Period:  12/21/2010 End Period:  06/30/2014
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May 24th, 2017

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