Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2019 Dec;11(12):1435-1443.
doi: 10.1111/gcbb.12648. Epub 2019 Oct 6.

Greenhouse Gas Budget of a Poplar Bioenergy Plantation in Belgium: CO 2 Uptake Outweighs CH 4 and N 2 O Emissions

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Greenhouse Gas Budget of a Poplar Bioenergy Plantation in Belgium: CO 2 Uptake Outweighs CH 4 and N 2 O Emissions

Joanna A Horemans et al. Glob Change Biol Bioenergy. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Biomass from short-rotation coppice (SRC) of woody perennials is being increasingly used as a bioenergy source to replace fossil fuels, but accurate assessments of the long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of SRC are lacking. To evaluate its mitigation potential, we monitored the GHG balance of a poplar (Populus) SRC in Flanders, Belgium, over 7 years comprising three rotations (i.e., two 2 year rotations and one 3 year rotation). In the beginning-that is, during the establishment year and during each year immediately following coppicing-the SRC plantation was a net source of GHGs. Later on-that is, during each second or third year after coppicing-the site shifted to a net sink. From the sixth year onward, there was a net cumulative GHG uptake reaching -35.8 Mg CO2 eq/ha during the seventh year. Over the three rotations, the total CO2 uptake was -51.2 Mg CO2/ha, while the emissions of CH4 and N2O amounted to 8.9 and 6.5 Mg CO2 eq/ha, respectively. As the site was non-fertilized, non-irrigated, and only occasionally flooded, CO2 fluxes dominated the GHG budget. Soil disturbance after land conversion and after coppicing were the main drivers for CO2 losses. One single N2O pulse shortly after SRC establishment contributed significantly to the N2O release. The results prove the potential of SRC biomass plantations to reduce GHG emissions and demonstrate that, for the poplar plantation under study, the high CO2 uptake outweighs the emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases.

Keywords: CO2 uptake outweighs CH4 and N2O emissions; Populus; bioenergy; greenhouse gas balance; plantation establishment; short‐rotation coppice.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Schematic representation of the vegetation structure during the three rotations of the short‐rotation coppice plantation, together with the net cumulative CO2, CH4, N2O and total net greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. Fluxes of CH4 and N2O fluxes were expressed in CO2 equivalents. Negative flux indicates a net uptake (sink); positive flux indicates as net emission (source). Yield values (after Vanbeveren & Ceulemans, 2018) were expressed in dry biomass production per year as well as converted in CO2 units
Figure 2
Figure 2
Left panel: Bars represent annual sums of CO2, N2O, CH4 and the total amount of greenhouse gases (in CO2 equivalents) for the establishment year (April–December 2010) and for each consequent year. Right panel: Cumulative flux of CO2, N2O, CH4, and the total amount of greenhouse gases (in CO2 equivalents). Positive flux values refer to emissions (source); negative fluxes refer to uptake (sink)
Figure 3
Figure 3
(From top to bottom panels): Monthly mean air temperature (T air, °C), mean amount of daily precipitation (Prec, mm/day), mean soil water table depth (WTD, m), mean soil water content at 0.2 m soil depth (SWC, m3/m3), and monthly mean fluxes of CO2, CH4, and N2O (µmol m−2 s−1 of CO2 equivalents) with the 25 and 75 percentile of the distribution of the aggregated half‐hourly values

Similar articles

See all similar articles

References

    1. Arevalo C. B. M., Bhatti J. S., Chang S. X., & Sidders D. (2011). Land use change effects on ecosystem carbon balance: From agricultural to hybrid poplar plantation. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 141, 342–349. 10.1016/j.agee.2011.03.013 - DOI
    1. Aubinet M., editor; , Vesala T., editor; , & Papale D., editor. (Eds.). (2012). Eddy covariance: A practical guide to measurement and data analysis. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer Atmospheric Sciences, 424 pp.
    1. Balasus A., Bischoff W.‐A., Schwarz A., Scholz V., & Kern J. (2012). Nitrogen fluxes during the initial stage of willows and poplars in short‐rotation coppices. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 175, 729–738. 10.1002/jpln.201100346 - DOI
    1. Berhongaray G., Janssens I. A., King J. S., & Ceulemans R. (2013). Fine root biomass and turnover of two fast‐growing poplar genotypes in a short‐rotation coppice culture. Plant and Soil, 373, 269–283. 10.1007/s11104-013-1778-x - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Berhongaray G., Verlinden M. S., Broeckx L. S., Janssens I. A., & Ceulemans R. (2017). Soil carbon and belowground carbon balance of a short‐rotation coppice: Assessment from three different approaches. Global Change Biology Bioenergy, 9, 299–313. 10.1111/gcbb.12369 - DOI - PMC - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback