Yield prediction of young black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) plantations for woody biomass production using allometric relations
Keywords:allometry, bioenergy, black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia, short rotation, yield prediction
AbstractBlack locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) is an increasingly popular tree species for the production of woody biomass for bioenergy generation with short rotation coppices. Due to its potential to produce large amounts of biomass yields even under unfavourable growth conditions, this tree species is especially suitable for marginal sites, such as can be found in the post mining area of NE-Germany. Current research aims to reliably predict the yield potential of black locust short rotation coppices, but suffers from a lack of sufficient exact allometric functions until recently. This is especially true for the early growth years, which are of special importance for short rotation coppices. The objective of this study was to develop allometric equations based on tree height and shoot basal diameter (SBD) for estimating yields of young black locust plantations. Therefore, dendrometric data were collected in a two, three, four and fourteen years old black locust short rotation forest located in the reclamation area of an opencast-lignite mining area in the Lower Lusatian region (Germany) and used for equation developing. Until measurement, none of the plantations had been harvested. Closed correlations between SBD and tree height were observed, as well as between these parameters and single tree mass. The scattering of single tree masses could be explained slightly better by the SBD than by the tree height. In the year before a harvest an even better prediction probability of woody biomass was obtainable when both parameters were simultaneously interrelated with the single tree mass. The results illustrate that the woody above ground biomass of young black locust plantations can be estimated sufficiently precisely based on the easy determinable parameters tree height and particularly SBD.
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