BioEnergy Research

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 533–546 | Cite as

Yield and Woody Biomass Traits of Novel Shrub Willow Hybrids at Two Contrasting Sites

  • Michelle J. Serapiglia
  • Kimberly D. Cameron
  • Arthur J. Stipanovic
  • Lawrence P. Abrahamson
  • Timothy A. Volk
  • Lawrence B. SmartEmail author


Shrub willow has great potential as a dedicated bioenergy crop, but commercialization and adoption by growers and end-users will depend upon the identification and selection of high-yielding cultivars with biomass chemistry and quality amenable to conversion to biofuels and bioenergy. In this study, critical traits for biomass production were evaluated among new genotypes of shrub willow produced through hybrid breeding. This study assessed the variation in yield, pest and disease resistance, biomass composition, and wood density in shrub willow, as well as the impact of genotypic and environmental factors on these particular phenotypes. Analysis of clonal genotypes established on two contrasting sites in New York State, Tully and Belleville, showed statistical differences by site for all of the traits. The greatest yield was observed at Belleville, NY, for two cultivars, ‘Fish Creek’ (41 Mg ha−1) and ‘Onondaga’ (40 Mg ha−1). Yields of Salix eriocephala genotypes were lowest, and they displayed susceptibility to rust and beetle damage. Variation in cellulose content in the stem biomass was controlled by environmental factors, with the majority of the genotypes displaying greater cellulose content at Belleville compared with Tully. In contrast, wood density was significantly greater at Tully than Belleville, and cellulose content was correlated with wood density. There were no significant correlations between biomass yield and density or any of the composition traits. These trials demonstrate that new genotypes produce improved yield and pest and disease resistance, with diverse compositional traits that can be matched with conversion technologies.


Beetle damage Bioenergy Breeding Cellulose Melampsora rust Wood density 



This research was funded partially by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA), and the North Central Regional Sun Grant Center at South Dakota State University through a grant provided by the US Department of Energy Office of Biomass Programs. The authors would like to thank Steve Johnson and the Belleville Henderson Central School for hosting a yield trial. Appreciation is also expressed to Ken Burns and Mark Appleby for excellent technical support, the multitude of undergraduate students who helped collect data, make cuttings, and maintain trials, and to Dr. Kerik Cox for assistance in the statistical analysis of the pest and disease data. This work was made possible by the excellent breeding done by Richard Kopp in 1998 and 1999.

Supplementary material

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Supplemental Table 1 (DOCX 13 kb)
12155_2012_9272_MOESM2_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplemental Table 2 (DOCX 14 kb)
12155_2012_9272_MOESM3_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplemental Table 3 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle J. Serapiglia
    • 1
  • Kimberly D. Cameron
    • 1
    • 5
  • Arthur J. Stipanovic
    • 2
  • Lawrence P. Abrahamson
    • 3
    • 4
  • Timothy A. Volk
    • 4
  • Lawrence B. Smart
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of HorticultureCornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment StationGenevaUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryState University of New York College of Environmental Science and ForestrySyracuseUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental and Forest BiologyState University of New York College of Environmental Science and ForestrySyracuseUSA
  4. 4.Department of Forest and Natural Resources ManagementState University of New York College of Environmental Science and ForestrySyracuseUSA
  5. 5.Department of BiologyState University of New YorkCortlandUSA

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