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Sprout development, biomass accumulation and fuelwood characteristics from coppiced plantations of Quercus acutissima

Fang, Shengzuo, Liu, Zhilong, Cao, Yida, Liu, Dong, Yu, Mukui, Tang, Luozhong
Biomass and bioenergy 2011 v.35 no.7 pp. 3104-3114
Quercus acutissima, biomass production, chemical composition, coppicing, energy, farms, forests, fuelwood, growing season, plantations, stemwood, stumps, China
Sprout development, biomass production and fuelwood characteristics in coppiced plantations of sawtooth oak were evaluated at the Hongya Mountain Forest Farm in Anhui Province, China. Experimental treatments applied in a split-plot design included three stump heights (5, 50 and 100 cm) and four sprout numbers reserved on each stump (1 sprout, 2 sprouts, 4 sprouts stump⁻¹ and check). Sprout growth and biomass production per stump were significantly affected by stump heights and sprout numbers reserved on stumps. After the third growing season, the highest total sprout biomass per stump was achieved in the treatment of 5 cm stump height with 2 sprouts reserved on stumps (H5S2, reaching 4.76 kg stump⁻¹), while the lowest was found in the treatment of 100 cm stump height with no sprout thinning (only 2.82 kg stump⁻¹). Different treatments also profoundly influenced gross calorific values (GCV) of the components sampled from 3-year-old sprouts and mean GCV of stem wood on an oven-dry weight basis was within the range of 18.54 and 19.87 kJ g⁻¹. Similar to the sprout biomass production, the greatest total and stem energy stocks per stump were observed in H5S2 treatment, achieving 90.26 and 57.08 MJ stump⁻¹, respectively. However, no significant differences in chemical compositions were observed for all measured traits among the treatments. Based on the results from this study, remaining stump height below 50 cm and thinning excess sprouts to reserve 2 sprouts per stump as early as age 1 could be proposed for the management of sawtooth oak coppice.