Yield performance of 14 novel inter- and intra-species Miscanthus hybrids across Europe

Authors Organisations
  • Danny Awty-Carroll(Author)
  • Elena Magenau(Author)
    University of Hohenheim
  • Mohamad Al Hassan(Author)
    Wageningen University and Research Centre
  • Enrico Martani(Author)
    Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Campus di Piacenza e Cremona
  • Mislav Kontek(Author)
    University of Zagreb
  • Philip van der Pluijm(Author)
    Novabiom
  • Chris Ashman(Author)
  • Emmanuel de Maupeou(Author)
    Novabiom
  • Jon McCalmont(Author)
    University of Aberdeen
  • Gert Jan Petrie(Author)
    Miscanthusgroep
  • Chris Davey(Author)
  • Kasper van der Cruijsen(Author)
    Wageningen University and Research Centre
  • Vanja Jurišić(Author)
    University of Zagreb
  • Stefano Amaducci(Author)
    Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Campus di Piacenza e Cremona
  • Isabelle Lamy(Author)
    SOLAGRO, Initiatives and Innovations for Energy, Agriculture and Environment
  • Anita Shepherd(Author)
    University of Aberdeen
  • Jason Kam(Author)
    Terravesta
  • Annick Hoogendam(Author)
    Wageningen University and Research Centre
  • Michele Croci(Author)
    Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Campus di Piacenza e Cremona
  • Oene Dolstra(Author)
    Wageningen University and Research Centre
  • Andrea Ferrarini(Author)
    Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Campus di Piacenza e Cremona
  • Iris Lewandowski(Author)
    University of Hohenheim
  • Luisa M. Trindade(Author)
    Wageningen University and Research Centre
  • Andreas Kiesel(Author)
    University of Hohenheim
  • John Clifton-Brown(Author)
    University of Giessen
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-423
Number of pages25
JournalGCB Bioenergy
Volume15
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jan 2023
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2023
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Abstract

Miscanthus, a C4 perennial rhizomatous grass from Asia is a leading candidate for the supply of sustainable biomass needed to grow the bioeconomy. European Miscanthus breeding programmes have recently produced a new range of seeded hybrids with the objective of increasing scalability to large acreages limited by current clonal propagation. For the EU-GRACE project, new replicated field trials were established in seven locations across Europe in 2018 with eight intraspecific M. sinensis hybrids (sin × sin) and six M. sacchariflorus × M. sinensis (sac × sin) from Dutch and UK breeding programmes, respectively, with clonal Miscanthus × giganteus. The planting density of the sin × sin was double that of sac × sin (30,000 & 15,000 plants ha−1), creating commercially relevant upscaling comparisons between systems. Over the first 3 years, the establishment depended on location and hybrid. The mature sin × sin hybrids formed tight tufts of shoots up to 2.5 m tall which flower and senesce earlier than the taller sac × sin hybrids. Following the third growing season, the highest yields were recorded in Northern Italy at a low altitude (average 13.7 (max 21) Mg DM ha−1) and the lowest yielding was on the industrially damaged marginal land site in Northern France (average 7.0 (max 10) Mg DM ha−1). Moisture contents at spring harvest were lowest in Croatia (21.7%) and highest in Wales, UK (41.6%). Overall, lower moisture contents at harvest, which are highly desirable for transport, storage and for most end-use applications, were found in sin × sin hybrids than sac × sin (30% and 40%, respectively). Yield depended on climate interactions with the hybrid and their associated planting systems. The sin × sin hybrids appeared better adapted to northern Europe and sac × sin hybrids to southern Europe. Longer-term yield observations over crop lifespans will be needed to explore the biological (yield persistence) and economic costs and benefits of the different hybrid systems.

Keywords

  • biomass, M. sinensis, Miscanthus, Miscanthus seeded hybrids, Miscanthus × giganteus, multi-location field trials, perennial biomass crop, RESEARCH ARTICLE, multi‐location field trials, RESEARCH ARTICLES

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