iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


First vs. second rotation of a poplar short rotation coppice: leaf area development, light interception and radiation use efficiency

Laura S Broeckx, Stefan PP Vanbeveren   , Melanie S Verlinden, Reinhart Ceulemans

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 5, Pages 565-573 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1457-008
Published: Apr 27, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

Given the high expectations for lignocellulosic biomass as one of the potential solutions for energy security and climate change mitigation, commercial scale studies over several rotations are crucial to assess the potential and the sustainability of short rotation coppice (SRC) cultures for bioenergy. The first and the second rotation of the SRC poplar (Populus) plantation of the present study differed significantly in biomass yield and in productivity determinants and their relationships. Coppicing enhanced leaf area development, radiation interception and woody biomass productivity. High total leaf area and radiation use efficiency (RUE) equally contributed to the high biomass yield during the establishment rotation, while RUE became the most important determinant of biomass yield after coppice. The study confirmed the significant genotypic variation in biomass productivity and its underlying determinants, also among more recently selected poplar genotypes. The absence of a correlation between intercepted radiation and RUE suggests the potential of selecting for genotypes combining high total leaf area and photosynthetic carbon uptake in future breeding programs for yield maximization towards sustainable bioenergy cultivation.


Genotypic Variation, Leaf Area Index, Aboveground Woody Biomass Productivity, Bioenergy, Populus, POPFULL

Authors’ address

Laura S Broeckx
Stefan PP Vanbeveren
Melanie S Verlinden
Reinhart Ceulemans
Department of Biology, Research Group of Plant and Vegetation Ecology, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, Wilrijk B-2610 (Belgium)

Corresponding author

Stefan PP Vanbeveren


Broeckx LS, Vanbeveren SPP, Verlinden MS, Ceulemans R (2015). First vs. second rotation of a poplar short rotation coppice: leaf area development, light interception and radiation use efficiency. iForest 8: 565-573. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1457-008

Academic Editor

Giorgio Matteucci

Paper history

Received: Sep 25, 2014
Accepted: Mar 10, 2015

First online: Apr 27, 2015
Publication Date: Oct 01, 2015
Publication Time: 1.60 months

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