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Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 89; doi:10.3390/su9010089

Adaptation of C4 Bioenergy Crop Species to Various Environments within the Southern Great Plains of USA

1
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, USA
2
USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory, Temple, TX 76502, USA
3
Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Blackland Research and Extension Center, Temple, TX 76502, USA
4
School of Plant, Environmental, and Soil Science, College of Agriculture at LSI AgCenter, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
5
USDA-NRCS East Texas Plant Materials Center, Nacogdoches, TX 76501, USA
6
Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
7
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael Wachendorf
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Conversion)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2002 KB, uploaded 11 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

As highly productive perennial grasses are evaluated as bioenergy feedstocks, a major consideration is biomass yield stability. Two experiments were conducted to examine some aspects of yield stability for two biofuel species: switchgrass (Panicum vigratum L.) and Miscanthus x giganteus (Mxg). Biomass yields of these species were evaluated under various environmental conditions across the Southern Great Plains (SGP), including some sites with low soil fertility. In the first experiment, measured yields of four switchgrass ecotypes and Mxg varied among locations. Overall, plants showed optimal growth performance in study sites close to their geographical origins. Lowland switchgrass ecotypes and Mxg yields simulated by the ALMANAC model showed reasonable agreement with the measured yields across all study locations, while the simulated yields of upland switchgrass ecotypes were overestimated in northern locations. In the second experiment, examination of different N fertilizer rates revealed switchgrass yield increases over the range of 0, 80, or 160 kg N ha−1 year−1, while Mxg only showed yield increases between the low and medium N rates. This provides useful insights to crop management of two biofuel species and to enhance the predictive accuracy of process-based models, which are critical for developing bioenergy market systems in the SGP. View Full-Text
Keywords: ALMANAC; switchgrass; M. x giganteus; bioenergy; climate; nitrogen ALMANAC; switchgrass; M. x giganteus; bioenergy; climate; nitrogen
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, S.; Kiniry, J.R.; Williams, A.S.; Meki, N.; Gaston, L.; Brakie, M.; Shadow, A.; Fritschi, F.B.; Wu, Y. Adaptation of C4 Bioenergy Crop Species to Various Environments within the Southern Great Plains of USA. Sustainability 2017, 9, 89.

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