To increase the understanding of poplar and willow perennial woody crops and facilitate their deployment for the production of biofuels, bioproducts, and bioenergy, there is a need for broadscale yield maps. For national analysis of woody and herbaceous crops production potential, biomass feedstock yield maps should be developed using a common framework. This study developed willow and poplar potential yield maps by combining data from a network of willow and poplar field trials and the modeling power of PRISM-ELM. Yields of the top three willow cultivars across 17 sites ranged from 3.60 to 14.6 Mg ha−1 yr−1 dry weight, while the yields from 17 poplar trials ranged from 7.5 to 15.2 Mg ha−1 yr−1. Relationships between the environmental suitability estimates from the PRISM-ELM model and results from field trials had an R2 of 0.60 for poplar and 0.81 for willow. The resulting potential yield maps reflected the range of poplar and willow yields that have been reported in the literature. Poplar covered a larger geographic range than willow, which likely reflects the poplar breeding efforts that have occurred for many more decades using genotypes from a broader range of environments than willow. While the field trial data sets used to develop these models represent the most complete information at the time, there is a need to expand and improve the model by monitoring trials over multiple cutting cycles and across a broader range of environmental gradients. Despite some limitations, the results of these models represent a dramatic improvement in projections of potential yield of poplar and willow crops across the United States.
- short cutting cycle intensive culture
- short-rotation woody crops