Improved Carbon Sequestration with Biofuels Production in Managed Hyrbid Poplar Farms
Hybrid poplar farms are capable of sequestering significant quantities of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The rate of carbon sequestration by hybrid poplar could be further increased by selecting for clones that prolong the peak period of annual biomass increment and store more carbon in soil resources. Also, new, no-till farming techniques, along with the marketing of harvest residues, could increase carbon retention and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This project will identify and develop clones that can withstand competition in monoclonal stands, as well as complementary clone mixes for polyclonal stands. The clone effect on soil carbon will be measured, and the efficacy of cover cropping and silvi-pasturing in weed control practices will be assessed. Existing carbon models will be refined to reflect the impact of genetic selection and new farming practices. In Phase I, a rotation-age yield-verification trial of elite hybrid clones will be destructively sampled to assess the effect of clonal variation on biomass productivity, crown architecture, leaf display, periodic basal area growth, litter decomposition rates, and soil carbon. Other tasks include: the derivation of multiple trait indices reflecting the variation in competition reaction for 152 test clones; a study of clonal sensitivities to red/far-red ratios; the design of a no-till farming study; the completion of a marketing/energy use study for harvest residue; and the refinement of existing carbon sequestration models. Commercial Applications And Other Benefits as described by the Applicant: The technology should provide: (1) a new class of elite hybrid poplar ¿carbon¿ clones, which will increase carbon sequestration through enhanced biomass productivity and increased carbon stored in the soil; (2) the availability of new hybridization parameters to guide future poplar improvement programs designed to increases biofuels production and carbon sequestration; (3) more accurate carbon sequestration models; and (4) more carbon-efficient farming and residue management practices.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
Greenwood Resources, Inc.
121 SW Salmon Street Suite 1020 Portland, OR 97204
Number of Employees:
Washington State University
7612 Pioneer Way East
Puyallup, WA 98371
John D. Johnson
Nonprofit college or university