iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Nitrogen removal and its determinants in hybrid Populus clones for bioenergy plantations after two biennial rotations in two temperate sites in northern Italy

Pierluigi Paris (1), Leonardo Mareschi (2), Maurizio Sabatti (3), Luca Tosi (1-3), Giuseppe Scarascia-Mugnozza (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 5, Pages 668-676 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1254-007
Published: Feb 02, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

The sustainability of bioenergy coppice plantations is strongly affected by the Nitrogen (N) balance, whose removal is very high due to the frequent harvest of large quantities of biomass composed of small-sized shoots. Poplar bioenergy coppice plantations could have a Nitrogen removal comparable to herbaceous crops. In this study, five hybrid poplar genotypes (“AF2”, “AF6”, “Monviso”, “83.148.041”, “I214”) were compared for tree morphological traits related to yield, N removal in the harvested biomass and Nitrogen wood concentration (N%) after two biennial coppice rotations in two experimental plantations located in northern Italy. N removal was primarily influenced by biomass production, and linear positive relationships between biomass yield and N removal were established. N removal also varied greatly among genotypes due to clonal differences in yield and in N%, in relation to significant differences among clones for their branching and sprouting habits. In the first rotation, branchiness was positively correlated to N% with a significant coefficient of determination (R2=0.813), while at the end of the second rotation it was also significantly correlated to the shoots per stool ratio (R2=0.804). “Monviso” and “83.148.041” were the clones showing the highest yield, but also a high N% associated to an high level of branchiness and shoots per stool ratio. Our results highlight that poplar genotype selection for sustainable N management should be aimed at genotypes with low wood N concentration, coupling high yield with low branching and sprouting habits as in the case of the clone “AF2”.


Branching Habit, Coppice Plantations, Fertilization, Growth Traits, Sprouting Habit

Authors’ address

Pierluigi Paris
Luca Tosi
C.N.R.- Istituto di Biologia Agroambientale e Forestale, v. G. Marconi 2, I-05010 Porano (TR - Italy)
Leonardo Mareschi
Corpo Forestale dello Stato, v. A. Pacinotti 5, I-01100, Viterbo (Italy)
Maurizio Sabatti
Luca Tosi
Giuseppe Scarascia-Mugnozza
Di.B.A.F.- Università degli Studi della Tuscia, v. S. Camillo de Lellis, I-01100 Viterbo (Italy)

Corresponding author


Paris P, Mareschi L, Sabatti M, Tosi L, Scarascia-Mugnozza G (2015). Nitrogen removal and its determinants in hybrid Populus clones for bioenergy plantations after two biennial rotations in two temperate sites in northern Italy. iForest 8: 668-676. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1254-007

Academic Editor

Gianfranco Minotta

Paper history

Received: Jan 28, 2014
Accepted: Oct 30, 2014

First online: Feb 02, 2015
Publication Date: Oct 01, 2015
Publication Time: 3.17 months

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