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Coppicing Evaluation in the Southeastern U.S. to Determine Harvesting Methods for Bioenergy Production




Santiago, Rafael

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Forestry and Wildlife Science


Renewable fuels are being tested as an alternative for fossil fuels. Woody biomass is an excellent source of renewable energy in terms of cost-benefit and availability. Short rotation woody crops (SRWC) meet intensive wood demand due their fast growth and ability to coppice. There are uncertainties related to the feasibility of harvesting multiple-stem trees with current technology. In this study we investigated the attributes of 2 SRWC species, 2 years after harvest. A logistic regression was fit in an attempt to determine whether trees per stump (2 or fewer; 3 or more) was affected by damage caused during harvest and the diameter classes of the stumps. The species used in this experiment were Eucalyptus urograndis in Florida, and Populus deltoides in Arkansas. We measured volume, stem crowding, and clump dimension of the coppiced trees 6 months after harvest, and then 2 years after harvest. Results from both species showed that stump diameter is positively related with stem crowding. Stem crowding was negatively affected by stump damage in eucalyptus trees. The scattering formation of the regenerated stems on each stump would not increase the difficulties of subsequent harvesting operations. At age 2, the volume found per stump increased almost linearly with stem crowding.