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Publications and references

Technical Papers

The 2.08.04 Technical Paper Series is dedicated to the sustainable production of poplars and willows as feedstocks for bioproducts, bioenergy, and biofuels, as well as  environmental and ecosystem services that sustain livelihoods, land uses, urban and rural development, and nature. The technical papers may be from empirical research studies, on-the-ground applications from growers and other stakeholders, and syntheses of major topics related to poplar and willow biomass production systems. For more information, please reach out Ron Zalesny, Chairperson of IUFRO 2.08.04, at ronald.zalesny(at)

Leveraging Populus Field Trials to Manage Environmental and Human-Induced Change
Patrick N. McGovern, Elizabeth R. Rogers, Ryan A. Vinhal, Ronald S. Zalesny Jr.
PDF for download


  • Eighth International Poplar Symposium (IPS VIII): Poplars and Willows in the Era of Global Change: Agroforestry, Environmental Improvement, and Ecosystem Services to Enhance Livelihoods ; online; 4-6 October 2022. Book of Abstracts
  • Sixth International Poplar Symposium (IPS-VI); Vancouver, British Columbia (B.C.), Canada; 20-28 July 2014. Presentations - Photo gallery            
  • Fifth International Poplar Symposium Poplars and willows: from research models to multipurpose trees for a bio-based society; Orvieto, Italy; 20-25 September 2010. Book of Abstracts
    IPS-V Conference Proceedings: The conference organizers have made arrangements for the publication of selected IPS-V papers, from oral and poster presentations, in special issues of the following relevant, scientific journals: - Tree Genetics and Genomes, - Tree Physiology, - Biomass & Bioenergy
  • Fourth International Poplar Symposium "Meeting the Needs of a Growing World through Poplar and Willow Science: Combining Traditional and Novel Approaches in the Genomic Era"; Nanjing, China, 5-9 June 2006. Proceedings               

Science Briefs

IUFRO Working Party 2.08.04 Poplars and willows started an exemplary series of science briefs, which are two-page summaries of recent research activities. Find below the briefs that have already been published, more are in the pipeline.

  • Root Biomass and Architecture of Hybrid Aspen 'Crandon'
    Headlee, W.L., Zalesny, R.S. Jr., and Hall, R.B. 2019. Coarse root biomass and architecture of hybrid aspen 'Crandon' (Populus alba L. × P. grandidentata Michx.) grown in an agroforestry system in central Iowa, USA. Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 38(1), 18–30.   PDF for download  
  • Genotype x Environment Interactions and Biomass Production of Poplars in the Midwest
    Zalesny, R.S. Jr., Hall, R.B., Zalesny, J.A., McMahon, B.G., Berguson, B.E., and Stanosz, G.R. 2009. Biomass and genotype × environment interactions of Populus energy crops in the midwestern United States. BioEnergy Research. 2(3): 106-122.  PDF for download      

Other publications

A Roadmap for Poplar and Willow to Provide Environmental Services and to Build the Bioeconomy

Authors: Patricia A. Townsend, Regional Extension Specialist, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University; Nora Haider, Extension Coordinator Senior, Washington State University Extension, Washington State University; Leslie Boby, Extension Associate, Southern Regional Extension Forestry; Justin Heavey, Sustainability Associate, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Todd A. Miller, Environmental Management Analyst, City of Springfield, Oregon; Timothy A. Volk, Senior Research Associate, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry

With contributions by: Noelle Hart, Extension Coordinator, Washington State University Extension, Washington State University; Jud Isebrands, President—Environmental Forestry Consultants, LLC; Chris Johnston, Project Leader, Agri-Environmental Technologies, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute; Lou Licht, President and Founder, Ecolotree Inc.; Michael Shell, Economist, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Bob Simmons, Associate Professor, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University; Brian Stanton, Chief Science Officer, GreenWood Resources, Inc.

Written by a coalition of poplar and willow researchers from across the United States, ‘A Roadmap for Poplar and Willow to Provide Environmental Services and to Build the Bioeconomy’ outlines how woody energy crops can be grown in environmental applications for renewable energy markets. The paper provides a summary of information and recommendations including: - benefits, both environmental and otherwise, of growing poplar and willow and opportunities for using the biomass from these plantings; - barriers to this new endeavor; - solutions to link biomass from poplar and willow grown for environmental applications to bioenergy markets.

The Roadmap is complemented by six discussion papers that provide examples of poplar and willow grown in environmental applications.


Cottonwood and the River of Time: On Trees, Evolution, and Society
Reinhard F. Stettler
(University of Washington Press, 2009, $24.95 paper)

Cottonwood and the River of Time looks at some of the approaches scientists have used to unravel the puzzles of the natural world. With a lifetime of work in forestry and genetics to guide him, Reinhard Stettler examines cottonwoods, but also trees more generally, their evolution, and their relationship to society.

Cottonwoods flourish on the verge, near streams and rivers. Their life cycle is closely attuned to the river's natural dynamics. An ever-changing floodplain keeps generating new opportunities for these pioneers to settle and prepare the ground for new species.  Stettler moves from the floodplain of a West Cascade river, where seedlings compete for a foothold, to mountain slopes, where aspens reveal their genetic differences in colorful displays; from the workshops of Renaissance artists who painted their masterpieces on poplar to labs where geneticists have recently succeeded in sequencing a cottonwood's genome; from the intensively cultivated tree plantations along the Columbia to old-growth forests challenged by global warming.

By offering lessons in how nature works, as well as how science can help us understand it, Cottonwood and the River of Time illuminates connections between the physical, biological, and social worlds. 

For more information, including the table of contents and ordering information, please visit:  

Professors who wish to consider this book for course adoption can find instructions on how to order an examination copy at: 


Memo No. 01-10

Links to other information resources

International Poplar Commission Poplar Genetics Working Group: