Biomass production of five populus clones, soil carbon and soil water content in a central Missouri floodplain
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Five Populus clones in two short rotation 5 year plantations were tested for biomass production and associated soil C changes in the central Missouri floodplain under climatic conditions of the Midwest. A Populus deltoides x Populus nigra (Eugenei) hybrid clone was also evaluated for production differences in response to soil moisture conditions across microtopograhic changes within a plantation. Destructive harvesting was employed in the successful development of statistical models used in predicting root, shoot, and total dry weights. Major groupings were identified with the two most local P. deltoides clones (2059 and 1112), having the greatest production as a result of superior efficiency in converting light energy into biomass. Soil C losses were identified over the course of the rotation, although there were net gains in total C of 32.5 t ha-1 and 15 t ha-1 in Plantations 1 and 2, respectively. Evidence of excessive soil moisture inhibiting growth in the Eugenei clone was also identified.