Biomass productivity is the main favorable trait of candidate bioenergy crops. Miscanthus × giganteus is a promising species, due to its high-yield potential and positive traits including low nutrient requirements and potential for C sequestration in soils. However, miscanthus productivity appears to be mostly related to water availability in the soil. This is important, particularly in Mediterranean regions where the risk of summer droughts is high. To date, there have been no studies on miscanthus responses under different soil conditions, while only a few have investigated the role of different crop managements, such as irrigation and nitrogen fertilization, in the Mediterranean. Therefore, the effects of contrasting soil textures (i.e. silty-clay-loam vs. sandy-loam) and alternative agricultural intensification regimes (i.e. rainfed vs. irrigated and 0, 50, 100 kg ha-1 nitrogen fertilization), on miscanthus productivity were evaluated at three different harvest times for two consecutive years. Our results confirmed the importance of water availability in determining satisfactory yields in Mediterranean environments, and how soil and site characteristics strongly affect biomass production. We found that the aboveground dry yields varied between 5 Mg ha-1 up to 29 Mg ha-1. Conversely, nitrogen fertilization played only a minor role on crop productivity, and high fertilization levels were relatively inefficient. Finally, a marked decrease, of up to -40%, in the aboveground yield occurred when the harvest time was delayed from autumn to winter. Overall, our results highlighted the importance of determining crop responses on a site-by-site basis, and that decisions on the optimal harvest time should be driven by the biomass end use and other long-term considerations, such as yield stability and the maintenance of soil fertility.

Influence of soil texture and crop management on the productivity of miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deu.) in the Mediterranean / N. Roncucci, N. Nassi O Di Nasso, E. Bonari, G. Ragaglini. - In: GCB BIOENERGY. - ISSN 1757-1693. - 7:5(2015), pp. 998-1008. [10.1111/gcbb.12202]

Influence of soil texture and crop management on the productivity of miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus Greef et Deu.) in the Mediterranean

G. Ragaglini
2015

Abstract

Biomass productivity is the main favorable trait of candidate bioenergy crops. Miscanthus × giganteus is a promising species, due to its high-yield potential and positive traits including low nutrient requirements and potential for C sequestration in soils. However, miscanthus productivity appears to be mostly related to water availability in the soil. This is important, particularly in Mediterranean regions where the risk of summer droughts is high. To date, there have been no studies on miscanthus responses under different soil conditions, while only a few have investigated the role of different crop managements, such as irrigation and nitrogen fertilization, in the Mediterranean. Therefore, the effects of contrasting soil textures (i.e. silty-clay-loam vs. sandy-loam) and alternative agricultural intensification regimes (i.e. rainfed vs. irrigated and 0, 50, 100 kg ha-1 nitrogen fertilization), on miscanthus productivity were evaluated at three different harvest times for two consecutive years. Our results confirmed the importance of water availability in determining satisfactory yields in Mediterranean environments, and how soil and site characteristics strongly affect biomass production. We found that the aboveground dry yields varied between 5 Mg ha-1 up to 29 Mg ha-1. Conversely, nitrogen fertilization played only a minor role on crop productivity, and high fertilization levels were relatively inefficient. Finally, a marked decrease, of up to -40%, in the aboveground yield occurred when the harvest time was delayed from autumn to winter. Overall, our results highlighted the importance of determining crop responses on a site-by-site basis, and that decisions on the optimal harvest time should be driven by the biomass end use and other long-term considerations, such as yield stability and the maintenance of soil fertility.
Biomass; Energy crop; Harvest time; Irrigation; Leaf area index; Leaf litter; Nitrogen agronomic efficiency; Nitrogen fertilization; Yield
Settore AGR/02 - Agronomia e Coltivazioni Erbacee
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/837894
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