Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rebuilding flood plains, agriculture, economy

03.08.2010
Using a flood simulator, MU researchers reveal cottonwood trees as a profitable crop in devastated flood areas

When the Missouri River flooded in 1993 and 1995, it left a deep layer of sandy silt that covered thousands of acres of rich farmland. Now, MU forestry researchers may have found a crop that can survive a flood and act as a sustainable source of biomass.

During the 1993 flood, Gene Garrett, forestry professor and former director of the Center for Agroforestry, observed that cottonwood trees seemed to thrive in the flood waters. As a result, Garrett, John Dwyer and Hank Stelzer, associate professors in forestry, initiated a study at the flood laboratory at the University of Missouri Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center (HARC), to identify superior cottonwood "clone" trees that would tolerate flood conditions. The clones trees selected for the study were chosen based upon above-ground production of biomass.

The researchers found that seed sources from Mead-Westvaco Corporation and Iowa State University survived and grew under flooded conditions. These results are promising when considering the economic potential for biomass production in the floodplains of Missouri.

"Among the fastest growing trees in North America, cottonwoods can be profitable," Garret said. "They can be used for biomass, paper, rough-cut lumber for home framing, and interior lumber for cabinets. They thrive in boggy and sandy areas that can no longer sustain traditional crops."

Located in New Franklin, Mo., the HARC flood lab, recognized as the most realistic flood simulator in the Midwest, features 24 two-foot-deep flood channels that can be flooded individually and drained to simulate a variety of flood conditions. Given the capability to independently adjust the channels for water depth, standing or flowing water, and duration of flooding, the lab allows researchers to determine the flood tolerance of selected grasses, legumes and tree species.

"Before the MU flood lab, we had little scientific evidence on which trees were flood tolerant," Garrett said. "Data on tree flood tolerance, as well as information about commercial markets for cottonwoods, are being given to Missouri farmers who now have more options in their bottomlands that are prone to flooding"

Dwyer also received a Mizzou Advantage grant to search for economical ways to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels by planting bio-energy plantations that provide woody biomass.

Mizzou Advantage was created to increase MU's visibility, stature and impact in higher education locally, statewide, nationally and around the world. An important first step in initiating the program is a round of grants, totaling more than $900,000, that will fund 26 networking and other projects. MU officials' goal is that Mizzou Advantage will strengthen existing faculty networks, create new networks and propel Mizzou's research, instruction and other activities to the next level.

Christian Basi | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.missouri.edu

Further reports about: Agroforestry HARC flood lab Missouri Rebuilding

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Cascading use is also beneficial for wood
11.12.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht The future of crop engineering
08.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>