Species and hybrids between species belonging to the genera Populus (poplar) and Salix (willow) have been used successfully for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. Our objectives were to: 1) evaluate the potential for establishing genotypes of poplar and willow on soils heavily contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons and 2) identify promising genotypes for potential use in future systems. We evaluated height, diameter, and volume after first year budset by testing 20 poplar clones and two willow clones. Unrooted cuttings, 20 cm long, were planted in randomized complete blocks at 0.91- x 0.91-m spacing at Gary, IN, USA (41.5°N, 87.3°W). Four commercial poplar clones (NM6, DN5, DN34, and DN182) were planted as 20- and 60-cm cuttings. Sixty-cm cuttings exhibited greater height and diameter than 20-cm cuttings; however, we recommend continued use and testing of different combinations of genotype and cutting length. We identified promising genotypes for potential use in future systems and we recommend allocating the majority of resources into commercial poplar clones, given their generalist growth performance. However, further utilization and selection of experimental clones is needed. Specific clones rather than genomic groups should be selected based on the geographic location and soil conditions of the site.
- Plant-enhanced bioremediation