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ARS Home » Plains Area » Temple, Texas » Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #333910

Research Project: ENHANCED MODELS AND CONSERVATION PRACTICES FOR WATERSHED RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Location: Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory

Title: Adaptation of C4 bioenergy crop species to various environments within the Southern Great Plains of U.S.

Author
item Kim, Sumin - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Kiniry, James
item Williams, Amber
item Meki, M - Texas Agrilife Research
item Gaston, L - Louisiana State University
item Brakie, M - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)
item Shadow, A - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)
item Fritschi, F - University Of Missouri
item Wu, Y - Oklahoma State University

Submitted to: Sustainability
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/4/2017
Publication Date: 1/11/2017
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5642490
Citation: Kim, S., Kiniry, J.R., Williams, A.S., Meki, M.N., Gaston, L.A., Brakie, M., Shadow, A., Fritschi, F.B., Wu, Y. 2017. Adaptation of C4 bioenergy crop species to various environments within the Southern Great Plains of U.S. Sustainability. 9:89. doi:10.3390/su9010089.

Interpretive Summary: As highly productive grasses are evaluated for biofuel, a major consideration is how stable are grass yields across years and across sites. In this study, two experiments were conducted to examine some components of this for two biofuel species: switchgrass (Panicum vigratum L.) and Miscanthus x giganteus (Mxg). The potential yields of these two grasses were evaluated under various environmental conditions across Southern Great Plains, and including some soils with low soil fertility. In first experiment, measured yields of four switchgrass ecotypes and Mxg varied among locations. Overall, plants showed the optimal growth performance in study sites close to where they originated. Using a computer simulation model, simulated yields of lowland switchgrasses and Mxg showed reasonable agreement with the measured yields across all study locations, while the simulated yields of upland switchgrasses were overestimated in northern locations. In the second experiment, different nitrogen fertilizer rates were utilized to investigate their effect on biomass yields. Switchgrass yields significantly increased over the range of three N rates, while Mxg only showed yield increases between the low and medium N rates. The results of this study will improve crop management of two biofuel species as well as the ability of computer models, which are critical to develop bioenergy market systems in Southern Great Plains.

Technical Abstract: As high productivities of perennial grasses are evaluated for feedstock, a major consideration is biomass stability. In this study, two experiments were conducted to examine some components of this for two biofuel species: switchgrass (Panicum vigratum L.) and Miscanthus x giganteus (Mxg). The potential yields of these two species were evaluated under various environmental conditions across Southern Great Plains (SGP), and including some soils with low soil fertility. In first experiment, measured yields of four switchgrass ecotypes and Mxg varied among locations. Overall, plants showed the optimal growth performance in study sites close to their geographical origins. The simulated yields of lowland switchgrasses and Mxg showed reasonable agreement with the measured yields across all study locations, while the simulated yields of upland switchgrasses were overestimated in northern locations. In the second experiment, different nitrogen fertilizer rates were utilized to investigate their effect on biomass yields. Switchgrass yields significantly increased over the range of three N rates, while Mxg only showed yield increases between the low and medium N rates. The results of this study will improve crop management of two biofuel species as well as the ability of process-based models, which are critical to develop bioenergy market systems in SGP.