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Modeling Short Rotation Hybrid Poplar Plant Growth and Yield in the Pacific Northwest

Posted by Stephen Locker | September 17, 2014

April 16, 2014

View the Recording at

Hybrid poplar is one of the potential sustainable sources of bioenergy that could play a key role in sustainably meeting the long term energy needs in Pacific Northwest.   A viable poplar-based bioenergy industry will require a system to supply biomass to the refinery consistently and cost effectively. This system will depend primarily on the biomass production potential in the region. As such, the ability to predict poplar biomass under different climate and management regimes will help in developing management strategies to facilitate the best use of available water, land, and other input resources (e.g., fertilizers) and to maximize the regional biomass yields. In addition, economic and optimization models require regional biomass estimates in order to configure the efficient biomass supply chain and develop sustainable bioenergy systems.

Through Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB), we developed the 3PG-AHB model which is based on the Physiological Principles in Predicting Growth (3-PG) model for modeling poplar growth as a short rotation crop. The new 3PG-AHB model adds key features for simulating poplar growth as a biomass feedstock including the option for harvesting poplars on two to three year rotations.  We applied 3PG-AHB model over the Pacific Northwest region on different agricultural lands to predict potential biomass estimates under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions. In addition, to support stakeholders in their management decisions, we have developed a GIS-based web interface using 3PG-AHB to model poplar biomass yields spatially (8km resolution) under different management (irrigation and non-irrigation) and climate conditions in the Pacific Northwest.

In this webinar, we present the features and application of the 3PG-AHB poplar growth and yield model, its application, and the GIS-based web interface.

What’s covered?

1) An overview of the 3PG-AHB model.
2) Geospatial application of the 3PG-AHB model on different agricultural lands.
3)  How the GIS-based web interface can be used as decision support tool.

Presenters: Quinn Hart and Varaprasad Banduru from the University of California, Davis.

Sponsored by:  Washington State University with funding from Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grant no. 2011-68005-30407 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).