2.08.04 - Poplars and willows

UNIT NOTICEBOARD

2019-03-12

Hot off the press: 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.

https://bit.ly/2F8DYa7

View all entries

Coordinator:

Ronald S. Zalesny Jr., United States

Deputies:

Silvia Cortizo, Argentina

Meng-Zhu Lu, China

Joris Van Acker, Belgium

About Unit

Working Party 2.08.04 brings together all aspects of research in IUFRO on breeding and genetic resources of Populus sp. and Salix sp. Major functions of this Unit are to facilitate information flow on breeding and selection, genomics, and conservation, to facilitate exchange of material and to provide for informative meetings, workshops and field trips. Working Party 2.08.04 works closely with the International Poplar Commission's Working Party on Poplar Willow Genetics, Conservation and Improvement.


State of Knowledge

Several key scientific and programmatic challenges will ensure the future of sustainable poplar cultivation.  Among these, it is striking how many programs are reliant upon cultivars that are 30 years and older.  This is, in nearly all cases, a consequence of inadequate access to improved breeding populations of both native and exotics species.  A coordinated plan of international cooperation for the exchange of reproductive materials and hybridization services, perhaps best facilitated by the poplar genetics working groups of IPC and IUFRO should be made a high priority.  A plan should strongly emphasize the need for population breeding approach as opposed to a strictly non-recurrent first generation hybridization appoach that is also too commonly the sole breeding strategy of many programs. The process of evaluation of both seedling- and clonal-based test populations would benefit immeasureably from a standardized protocol that would detail the finer features of appropriate experimental designs, selection criteria and intensities appropriate for varying stages of a multiple-stage test procedure, and newer methods of quantitiative analyses including the restricted maximum likelihood procedure.