HGF Portfolio Project "Sustainable Bioeconomy"

Short rotation coppice (SRC) with fast-growing tree species is an increasingly used method to produce woody biomass. To ensure the sustainability of SRC, a comprehensive accounting of the trace gas exchange in these production systems is required. Our contribution to the HGF Portfolio project "Sustainable Bioeconomy" aims to completely determine the trace gas exchange in poplar SRC. Trace gas emissions, however, plays not only a role as a part of the biomass production itself. A significant proportion biomass is lost in gaseous form (CO2, NOx, VOCs) by microbial and fungal degradation again depending on the down-stream production chain of energy of biofuels. Therefore, we focus on the determination of trace gas fluxes from wood chips after the harvest. The project is tightly linked to the BMBF project PRO-BIOPA (Sustainable production of biomass by poplar short rotation coppice on marginal land) and benefits from the analysis of trace gas emissions performed on the projects’ poplar plantation. We also benefit from the cooperation with the Institute of Soil Ecology and the Research Unit Microbe-Plant Interactions at HMGU. Both groups will assist the analysis of microbial and fungal activities during wood chip storage.