BioEnergy Research

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 1109–1125 | Cite as

Maximum Annual Potential Yields of Salix miyabeana SX67 in Southern Quebec and Effects of Coppicing and Stool Age

  • Mario Fontana
  • Benoit Lafleur
  • Michel Labrecque
  • François Courchesne
  • Nicolas BélangerEmail author


Aboveground biomass yields of short rotation cultures (SRC) of willow can vary substantially depending on site quality. Among others, aboveground biomass yields depend on climatic conditions, soil properties, age of the SRC, and number of harvesting cycles. In this study, we investigated the effects of coppicing on growth variables (i.e., largest basal stem, height, and aboveground biomass) at ten SRC of Salix miyabeana SX67 established on various soils in southern Quebec. More than 1100 shrubs with stool ages varying between 1 and 15 years were measured. Strain analysis was carried out to calculate past annual aboveground productivities, and maximum annual yield potential was quantified at each site. Annual growth rates were highly variable and depended on site and coppicing history. To achieve optimal stool development and aboveground yields, two to three growing seasons following coppicing were necessary for sandy and clayey sites, respectively. The delays for reaching maximum yields were shortened when soil cation exchange capacity was dramatically low and were prolonged when soil was physically restricting stool development. This lag influenced the total yield of the first rotation and also modulated the magnitude of the increase of aboveground biomass that is generally observed in the second rotation. To increase yields in southern Quebec, our results suggest that it is preferable to extend the length of the first rotation instead of coppicing at the end of the first growing season after establishment.


Willow Short rotation culture Fast growth Soil texture Coppicing Root system age 



Financial support for this project was provided by the Fonds de recherche du QuébecNature et technologiesProgramme de recherche en partenariat contribuant à la réduction et à la séquestration des gaz à effet de serre (2011-GZ-138839) to N. Bélanger. We gratefully thank Florence Bélanger, Carol Bouchard, Simon Constantineau, Nicola Fontana, Alexandre Fouillet, Fanny Gagné, Claude Labrecque, Julien Mourali, Jean Teodorescu, Jacinthe Ricard-piché, Marie-Claude Turmel, and Gilbert Tremblay for their help in the field and laboratory, and Daniel Lesieur for his support with dendrochronological analysis. We also thank Francis Allard, Roger Chamard, Alice Chagnon, Jean-François Lavoie, Alain Guay, and staff from the Centre de recherche sur les grains (CEROM) for giving us access to the SRCs of willow used in this study. Finally, we thank Olivier Lalonde from CEROM for providing soil samples and growth data for the ALB site.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Fontana
    • 1
    • 2
  • Benoit Lafleur
    • 1
  • Michel Labrecque
    • 2
  • François Courchesne
    • 3
  • Nicolas Bélanger
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre d’étude de la forêtUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Institut de recherche en biologie végétale, Jardin botanique de MontréalMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Département de géographieUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  4. 4.Département science et technologie, TéluqUniversité du QuébecMontréalCanada

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