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Individual Highlight

Ecosystem Services and Environmental Technologies of Woody Crop Production Systems

Photo of Seventeen-year-old hybrid poplars used for phytoremediation at an industrial brownfield in North Carolina. Ron Zalesny, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Seventeen-year-old hybrid poplars used for phytoremediation at an industrial brownfield in North Carolina. Ron Zalesny, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : Long-term research led by Forest Service scientists show that short rotation woody crops such as poplar and willow can be grown to enhance ecosystem services when grown specifically for biomass production as well as environmental technologies such as phytoremediation and urban afforestation. These outcomes are described as part of a comprehensive special issue in the scientific journal BioEnergy Research that details recent and ongoing activities of the Forest Service and Agricultural Research Service at U.S. Department of Agriculture Biomass Research Centers to develop technologies for providing biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Zalesny, Ronald S., Jr. 
Research Location : Sites along the rural to urban continuum
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1129

Summary

Short rotation woody crops are an integral component of regional and national energy portfolios, as well as a provider of essential ecosystem services such as biomass supplies, carbon sinks, clean water, and healthy soils. Developing environmental technologies that maximize these services is essential for ecological and social sustainability of rural and urban populations. To address this need, Forest Service scientists from the agency’s Northern Research Station and their partners synthesized nationwide research on ecosystem services (i.e., biomass production, carbon sequestration, soil protection) and development of environmental technologies (i.e., phytoremediation, urban afforestation, forest restoration, mine reclamation). These efforts were part of a comprehensive special issue in the scientific journal BioEnergy Research, which detailed recent and ongoing activities of the Forest Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Biomass Research Centers. The primary goal of the collective efforts described in the special issue is to develop systems and tools that can help to provide biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts while mitigating ecological degradation and thereby sustaining healthy ecosystems across the rural to urban continuum.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • University of Arkansas-Monticello
  • West Virginia State University