PRO-BIOPA ("Nachhaltige PROduktion von BIOmasse mit Kurzumtriebsplantagen der PAppel auf Marginalstandorten") is part of the BMBF program "Bioenergie2021" and aims (i) to optimize biomass production with short rotation coppice (plantations) of poplar on marginal sites with limited water and nutrient availability and to implement a comprehensive and integrative evaluation of this form of biomass production with respect to (ii) ecologic and (iii) economic aspects. Furthermore, with regard to environmental sustainability we will amend water and nutrient utilization as well as the emission of reactive trace gases by means of biotechnological approaches.

The project is coordinated by Jörg-Peter Schnitzler (formerly IMK-IFU, now Helmholtz Zentrum München EUS). The system includes biological analyses of Arabidopsis and poplar marker genes, laboratory studies with transgenic plants in controlled conditions as well as field trials with conventional poplar species/clones in short rotation plantations on marginal sites. The different scientific questions are addressed in an interdisciplinary approach by scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the University of Freiburg, the "Forstliche Versuchs- und Forschungsanstalt Baden-Württemberg" and the industrial partner Netafim GmbH.

This project is funded from 2009 to 2013 by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF Vorhaben 0315412).