BioEnergy Research

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 492–506 | Cite as

Environmental Technologies of Woody Crop Production Systems

  • Ronald S. ZalesnyJrEmail author
  • John A. Stanturf
  • Emile S. Gardiner
  • Gary S. Bañuelos
  • Richard A. Hallett
  • Amir Hass
  • Craig M. Stange
  • James H. Perdue
  • Timothy M. Young
  • David R. Coyle
  • William L. Headlee


Soil erosion, loss of productivity potential, biodiversity loss, water shortage, and soil and water pollution are ongoing processes that decrease or degrade provisioning (e.g., biomass, freshwater) and regulating (e.g., carbon sequestration, soil quality) ecosystem services. Therefore, developing environmental technologies that maximize these services is essential for the continued support of rural and urban populations. Genotype selection is a key component of these technologies, and characteristics of the species used in short rotation woody biomass systems, as well as the silvicultural techniques developed for short rotation woody crops are readily adapted to environmental applications. Here, we describe the development of such woody crop production systems for the advancement of environmental technologies including phytoremediation, urban afforestation, forest restoration, and mine reclamation. The primary goal of these collective efforts is to develop systems and tools that can help to mitigate ecological degradation and thereby sustain healthy ecosystems across the rural to urban continuum.


Forest restoration Mine reclamation Populus Phytoremediation Salix Urban afforestation 











Electrical conductivity


Forest landscape restoration


Institute for Applied Ecosystem Studies

Mg ha−1 year−1

Megagrams per hectare per year


Municipal solid waste




Phenylalanine ammonia lyase




Post-mining land use


Polyphenol oxidase




Short rotation woody crops




United States


USDA Agricultural Research Service


USDA Forest Service


Volatile organic compounds



The majority of the research described in this paper was supported by the USDA Forest Service and USDA Agricultural Research Service as collaborations associated with the USDA Biomass Research Centers. In addition to agency colleagues, we are grateful to the many external partners who made these collective efforts possible and to the countless number of people who helped us with laboratory, greenhouse, and field work. Furthermore, we thank Dr. Marilyn Buford for her USDA Forest Service leadership, Sue Lietz for producing Fig. 1, Irvin Arroyo for producing Figs. 2 and 3, and Edmund Bauer and Max Piana for reviewing earlier versions of this manuscript.

Supplementary material

12155_2016_9738_MOESM1_ESM.docx (37 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 36 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald S. ZalesnyJr
    • 1
    Email author
  • John A. Stanturf
    • 2
  • Emile S. Gardiner
    • 3
  • Gary S. Bañuelos
    • 4
  • Richard A. Hallett
    • 5
  • Amir Hass
    • 6
  • Craig M. Stange
    • 7
  • James H. Perdue
    • 8
  • Timothy M. Young
    • 9
  • David R. Coyle
    • 10
    • 11
  • William L. Headlee
    • 12
    • 13
  1. 1.USDA Forest Service, Northern Research StationInstitute for Applied Ecosystem StudiesRhinelanderUSA
  2. 2.USDA Forest Service, Southern Research StationCenter for Forest Disturbance ScienceAthensUSA
  3. 3.USDA Forest Service, Southern Research StationCenter for Bottomland Hardwoods ResearchStonevilleUSA
  4. 4.USDA Agricultural Research ServiceWater Management Research UnitParlierUSA
  5. 5.USDA Forest Service, Northern Research StationNew York City Urban Field StationBaysideUSA
  6. 6.Agricultural and Environmental Research StationWest Virginia State UniversityInstituteUSA
  7. 7.USDA Natural Resources Conservation ServiceBismarck Plant Materials CenterBismarckUSA
  8. 8.USDA Forest Service, Southern Research StationForest Products CenterKnoxvilleUSA
  9. 9.Forest Products CenterUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  10. 10.D.B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural ResourcesUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  11. 11.Southern Regional Extension ForestryAthensUSA
  12. 12.Division of Agriculture, Arkansas Forest Resources CenterUniversity of ArkansasMonticelloUSA
  13. 13.School of Forestry and Natural ResourcesUniversity of Arkansas at MonticelloMonticelloUSA

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