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 Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
05.10.2017 | Oregon State University

nachricht New machine evaluates soybean at harvest for quality
04.10.2017 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>