Ecophysiology of bioenergy crops


  • Effect of nitrogen fertilizer and compost on photosynthesis and growth of Virginia fanpetals (Sida hermaphrodita Rusby )
ECO1

As a perennial bioenergy crop Sida hermaphrodita can play an important role on marginal lands in the near future. In a controlled pot experiments the influence of various proportions of compost (10, 20, 30, 50%) and nitrogen fertilizer (100 kg N ha-1) on biomass, plant height, and carbon allocation were investigated during the establishment phase. Furthermore, ecophysiological parameters(gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, chlorophyll content,)were determined with non-destructive methods. The results of this experiment demonstrated that nitrogen fertilization and compost application has an overall positive effect on the overall growth performance.During the establishment phase, the fertilized plantsreached a mean high of up to 127 cm (maximal plant height up to 168 cm). Photosynthesis was not influenced by the treatments and the mean net CO2-exchange rates varied between 5,8 and 9,9 μmol m-2 s-1 and the electron transport rate between 34,5 and 53,9 μmol m-2 s-1. The application of compost and nitrogen for a better biomass production of Sida on marginal soils is possible, however the growth is limited in the first year with negative effects on the establishment of larger crops.

Veste, M., Halke, C., Garbe, D., Freese, D. (2016): Einfluss von Stickstoff-Düngung und Kompost auf Photosynthese und Wachstum der Virginiamalve (Sida hermaphrodita Rusby), Journal für Kulturpflanzen 68, 423-428. 


  • Effects of nitrogen and phosphate fertilization on leaf nutrient content, photosynthesis, and growth of the novel bioenergy crop Fallopia sachalinensis cv. ‘Igniscum Candy‘
ECO2

The aim of the study was to determine the effects of nitrogen and phosphate fertilization on the growth performance of the novel bioenergy crop Fallopia sachalliensis cv. ‘Igniscum Candy’ (Polygonaceae). In a controlled pot experiment various nitrogen (0, 50, 150, 300 kg N ha-1) and phosphate (20, 40, 80 kg P ha-1) fertilizer amounts were applied to measure the effect on the biomass, height, leaf area and nitrogen and phosphate use efficiency. Furthermore, ecophysiological processes (chlorophyll content, chlorophyll fluorescence, gas exchange) were measured with non-destructive methods. The application of nitrogen correlated positively with biomass production, while phosphate fertilization did not show a significant effect on plant growth or ecophysiological parameters. The leaf nitrogen contents were significantly correlated with the nitrogen applications, while the leaf phosphate contents did not show a correlation with the P fertilizations, but increased with the leaf nitrogen contents. A significant linear correlation between the measured SPAD values and chlorophyll contents as well as with the leaf nitrogen contents could be determined. Under the influence of the nitrogen fertilization, net photosynthesis increased from 3.7 to 6.6 μmol m-2 s-1. The results of this experiment demonstrated that nitrogen fertilization has an overall positive correlation with leaf nutrient content, photosynthesis, and overall growth of the bioenergy crop Fallopia sachalinensis var. Igniscum Candy.

Koning, L.A., Veste, M., Freese, D., Lebzien, S. (2015): Effects of nitrogen and phosphate fertilization on leaf nutrient content, photosynthesis, and growth of the novel bioenergy crop Fallopia sachalinensis  cv. ‘Igniscum Candy’. Journal of Applied Botany and Food Quality 88: 22-28.


  • Transpiration and biomass production of the bioenergy crop Giant Knotweed Igniscum under various supplies of water and nutrients
ECO3

Soil water availability, nutrient supply and climatic conditions are key factors for plant production. For a sustainable integration of bioenergy plants into agricultural systems, detailed studies on their water uses and growth performances are needed. The new bioenergy plant Igniscum Candy is a cultivar of the Sakhalin Knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis), which is characterized by a high annual biomass production. For the determination of transpiration-yield relations at the whole plant level we used wicked lysimeters at multiple irrigation levels associated with the soil water availability (25, 35, 70, 100%) and nitrogen fertilization (0, 50, 100, 150 kg N ha-1). Leaf transpiration and net photosynthesis were determined with a portable minicuvette system. The maximum mean transpiration rate was 10.6 mmol m-2 s-1 for well-watered plants, while the mean net photosynthesis was 9.1 μmol m-2 s-1. The cumulative transpiration of the plants during the growing seasons varied between 49 l (drought stressed) and 141 l (well-watered) per plant. The calculated transpiration coefficient for Fallopia over all of the treatments applied was 485.6 l kg-1. The transpiration-yield relation of Igniscum is comparable to rye and barley. Its growth performance making Fallopia a potentially good second generation bioenergy crop.

Mantovani, D., Veste, M., Gypser, S., Halke, C., Koning, L., Freese, D.,  Lebzien, S. (2014): Transpiration and biomass production of the bioenergy crop Giant Knotweed IGNISCUM  under various supplies of water and nutrients. Journal of Hydrology and Hydromechanics 62: 316-323.


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