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!
Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München
Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
16.08.2018 | Information Technology
16.08.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.08.2018 | Information Technology