Perennial biomass crop establishment, community characteristics, and productivity in the upper US Midwest: Effects of cropping systems seed mixtures and biochar applications

dc.contributor.author Bonin, Catherine
dc.contributor.author Fidel, Rivka
dc.contributor.author Heaton, Emily
dc.contributor.author Banik, Chumki
dc.contributor.author Laird, David
dc.contributor.author Mitchell, Robert
dc.contributor.author Heaton, Emily
dc.contributor.department Agronomy
dc.date 2018-10-07T00:54:20.000
dc.date.accessioned 2020-06-29T23:05:54Z
dc.date.available 2020-06-29T23:05:54Z
dc.date.issued 2018-11-01
dc.description.abstract <p>Native perennial plants have potential as bioenergy feedstocks, but their use is currently limited by relatively long establishment times and low biomass yields. Some research suggests that incorporating plant species diversity and applying biochar as a soil amendment might alleviate these limitations by creating a more resilient crop and soil system. The objective of this research was to investigate how 1) seeded plant diversity and 2) biochar soil amendments interact to affect the establishment, yield, and plant species composition of biomass cropping systems during the first four years of growth on productive soils. We measured species emergence, cover, peak and post-frost biomass, and biomass composition for three biomass cropping systems seed mixtures – a switchgrass monoculture, a three-species grass mixture, and a highly diverse mixture of grasses and forbs – either with or without application of a mixed wood gasification biochar (9.3 Mg ha−1). We found that seed mixture had significant effects on nearly every variable measured, with switchgrass monocultures outperforming the two more diverse mixtures by the third year of the experiment (12.0 Mg ha−1 in switchgrass, 8.7 Mg ha−1 in low diversity plots, and 3.9 Mg ha−1 in high diversity plots), despite an initial switchgrass establishment failure. The high diversity plots exhibited poor sown species establishment in the first year due to high weed pressure in a drought year, but continued to improve over time. Biochar application had no consistent effect on plant biomass or community traits, and significantly affected only two community traits, light transmittance and leaf area index. Our results suggest that on productive soils perennial bioenergy productivity may be achieved through selection of one or a few high-yielding grass species, with little or no effect of biochar applications on perennial biomass crop establishment, diversity, or productivity.</p>
dc.description.comments <p>This article is published as Bonin, Catherine L., Rivka B. Fidel, Chumki Banik, David A. Laird, Robert Mitchell, and Emily A. Heaton. "Perennial biomass crop establishment, community characteristics, and productivity in the upper US Midwest: Effects of cropping systems seed mixtures and biochar applications." <em>European Journal of Agronomy</em> 101 (2018): 121-128. doi: <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2018.08.009" target="_blank" title="Persistent link using digital object identifier">10.1016/j.eja.2018.08.009</a>.</p>
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/agron_pubs/526/
dc.identifier.articleid 1575
dc.identifier.contextkey 12932874
dc.identifier.s3bucket isulib-bepress-aws-west
dc.identifier.submissionpath agron_pubs/526
dc.identifier.uri https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/4890
dc.language.iso en
dc.source.bitstream archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/agron_pubs/526/2018_Heaton_PerennialBiomass.pdf|||Sat Jan 15 00:48:51 UTC 2022
dc.source.uri 10.1016/j.eja.2018.08.009
dc.subject.disciplines Agricultural Science
dc.subject.disciplines Agriculture
dc.subject.disciplines Soil Science
dc.subject.keywords Switchgrass
dc.subject.keywords Diversity
dc.subject.keywords Establishment
dc.subject.keywords Yields
dc.subject.keywords Warm season grass
dc.subject.keywords Biochar
dc.title Perennial biomass crop establishment, community characteristics, and productivity in the upper US Midwest: Effects of cropping systems seed mixtures and biochar applications
dc.type article
dc.type.genre article
dspace.entity.type Publication
relation.isAuthorOfPublication 716d7071-adb0-4700-9b63-b9da2205795e
relation.isOrgUnitOfPublication fdd5c06c-bdbe-469c-a38e-51e664fece7a
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