Monday, July 23, 2012

Effects of willow cultivation on water quality

This is another recent publication on the environmental effects of willow, in this case on the water quality. You can find our previous studies on the field here and here. Also, it draws upon data obtained here.
DIMITRIOU J, MOLA-YUDEGO B, ARONSSON P. 2012. Impact of Willow Short Rotation Coppice on Water Quality. Bioenergy Research. doi: 10.1007/s12155-012-9211-5.

Short rotation coppice (SRC) with willow has been grown in Sweden from the late 1980s to produce biomass for energy on agricultural land. This study evaluated the effects of SRC on water quality by determining differences in leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus to groundwater of a number of commercial “old” SRC willow stands in Sweden compared to adjacent arable fields grown with “ordinary” crops. The study was conducted in 16 locations under three vegetation seasons. NO3–N leaching from willow SRC fields was significantly lower than that from reference fields with cereals. The opposite was observed for PO4–P; concentrations in the groundwater of SRC were higher compared to reference fields. Sewage sludge applications were not responsible for the elevated PO4–P leaching under SRC compared to reference crops.

Keywords:  Bioenergy – Biomass – Energy forest – Nitrate leaching – Phosphorus leaching – Salix

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