Seasonal growth patterns of Arundo donax L. in the United States

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Research Paper 01/03/2020
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Seasonal growth patterns of Arundo donax L. in the United States


Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) has been extensively evaluated as a dedicated energy crop for biomass and biofuel production in southern Europe and the United States, with very favorable results. Current agronomic and biologic research on giant reed focuses on management practices, development of new cultivars, and determining differences among existing cultivars. Even though detailed information on the growth patterns of giant reed would assist in development of improved management practices, this information is not available in the United States. Therefore, the objective of this 2-year field study was to describe the seasonal growth patterns of giant reed in Alabama, United States. Changes in both plant height and biomass yield of giant reed with time were well described by a Gompertz function. The fastest growing period occurred at approximately 66 d after initiation of regrowth (mid-May), when the absolute maximum growth rate was of 0.045 m d-1 and 0.516mg ha-1 d-1. After mid-May, the rate of growth decreased until maturation at approximately 200 d after initiation of regrowth (mid- to late September). The observed maximum average plant height and biomass yield were 5.28 m and 48.56mg ha-1, respectively. Yield decreased following maturation up to 278 d after initiation (early to mid-December) of growth in spring, partly as a result of leaf loss, and was relatively stable thereafter.


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