Biomass crops

Part of: Renewable energy

Area of Expertise:

AFBI is currently undertaking biomass research in willow mixtures and insect pests on short rotation coppice willow.

Interactions of willow varieties grown in mixtures, contributing to sustainability

 Project leader Dr. Alistair McCracken

Project objectives

Based on the results obtained in project 8872 mixtures have been established as the main control strategy for foliar rust in short rotation coppice willow plantations. This project will provide the basis to improve the output from and the sustainability of mixed species / varietal plantations by having a greater understanding of how these are influenced by the physical and physiological interactions between mixture components.

Journal articles

McAlpine, W. , Shield, I. F. , Walsh, L. R. E. , McCracken, A. R. , Wilson, H. , Gilliland, J. , Hughes, A. R. , Cunniff, J. , Karp, A. (2011). Rothamsted Research willow (Salix spp.) breeding programme; multi-site yield trial results. Aspects of Biology, 112:263-270

McCracken, A. R. , Walsh, L. R. E. , Moore, J. P. , Lynch, M. , Cowan, P. , Dawson, M. D. , Watson, S. (2011). Yield of willow (Salix spp.) grown in short rotation coppice mixtures in long-term trials. Annals of Applied Biology, 159(2):229-243

McCracken, A. R. , Moore, J. P. , Walsh, L. R. E. , Lynch, M. (2010). Effect of planting vertical / horizontal willow (Salix spp.) cuttings on establishment and yield. Biomass and Bioenergy, 34(12):1764-1769

Begley, D. , McCracken, A. R. , Dawson, W. M. , Watson, S. (2009). Interaction in Short Rotation Coppice Willow, Salix viminalis genotype mixtures. Biomass and Bioenergy, 33:163-173

McCracken, A. R. , Walsh, L. R. E. , Moore, J. P. (2008). Growing SRC willow in genotype mixtures. Aspects of Biology, 90:101-108

McCracken, A. R. , Dawson, W. M. (2003). Rust disease (Melampsora epitea) of willow (Salix spp.) grown as short rotation coppice (SRC) in inter-and intra-species mixtures. Annals of Applied Biology, 143:381-393

Books

McCracken, A. R. , Dawson, W. M. , Carlisle, D. J. (2005). Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) willow mixtures and rust disease development. In: Rust Diseases of Willow and Poplar, (Eds. Pei, H. M., McCracken, Alistair R), C. A. B. International, Cambridge, U. K. pp:185-194 (In-Press)

Dawson, W. M. , McCracken, A. R. , Carlisle, D. J. (2005). SRC willow mixtures and yield. In: Rust Diseases of Willow and Poplar, (Eds. Pei, H. M., McCracken, Alistair R), C. A. B. International, Cambridge, U. K. pp:185-194 (In-Press)

Pei, H. M. , McCracken, A. R. (Editors) (2005). Rust Diseases of Willow and Poplar, C. A. B. International, Cambridge, U. K., 0 pp. (In-Press)

Knowledge transfers

McCracken, A. R. (2010). Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) willow. Practical On-Farm Renewable Energy Event, CAFRE - Greenmount

Caslin, B. , Finnan, J. , McCracken, A. R. (2010). Short Rotation Coppice Willow Best Practice Guidelines. Revised RENEW project guidelines (ISBN 1-84170-568-3)

McCracken, A. R. , Walsh, L. R. E. (2006). Use of SRC willow for bioremediation of effluent. Hosted visit of International Poplar and Willow Consortium to N. Ireland including a one day visit to NIHPBS

McCracken, A. R. (2006). Growing SRC willow. Local Planet (Ireland's Journal for Sustainable Living)

 

The influence of insect pests on the sustainability of short rotation coppice willow

Project leader Dr. Colin Fleming

Project objectives

Results from project 9651 have shown that the blue willow beetle Phratora vulgatissima can cause significant damage to short rotation coppiced willow grown in mixtures, and that varietal preference is shown. This project will examine the effect of P.vulgatissima (and other insect pests) on the sustainability of established mixed species/varietal plantations, and those grown for waste water biofiltration or environmental bioremediation. Any interaction between rust susceptibility and willow beetle herbivory in mixed variety plantings will also be investigated.