Feedstock Development projects

Regional Biofuels Modeling

The project will synthesize agri-ecological data in a framework centered on forecasting, quantifying uncertainty, and scaling spatially and temporally. Biofuel crop ecosystems models are being developed and will be applied at a regional scale to predict how crop suitability relates to environmental variability, ecosystem services and land-use change.

project Highlights

2011 Highlights

The group substantially improved both the content and interface of the Biofuel Ecophysiological Traits and Yield Database (BETY-db), including support for interactive yield projection maps by species. The total number of records now exceeds 25,000. The lab continued fieldwork measuring the growth and ecophysiology of 21 tree and shrub species and 28 prairie species at the EBI Energy Farm. Efforts at modeling woody feedstock yields and ecosystem services expanded beyond hybrid poplar to include willow, sweetgum, sycamore, maple, oak, cherry, birch, tulip poplar, and black locust.

2010 Highlights

In 2010, the team completed the first year of measurements on the novel woody feedstocks plots at the EBI Energy Farm and continued work in the tall grass prairie. They calibrated the Ecosystem Demography v2.1 model for hybrid poplar and analyzed projected yield and ecosystem services across the U.S. They also further developed the Biofuel Ecophysiological Traits and Yield Database (BETY-db).

2009 Highlights

The team compiled all available data on 10 focal grass and two tree species. Future work will incorporate additional trees, canes, and agaves. The group also collected a diverse array of plant trait data that will help build crop models and screen potential crops. They built a database and launched a web-interface (http://ebi-forecast.igb.uiuc.edu ). Analyzing the yield data collected, the group found that switchgrass polycultures that include legumes had yields close to switchgrass monocultures. Fieldwork focused on measuring switchgrass and Miscanthus photosynthetic and leaf economics traits by canopy strata across seasons in order to better understand how plants change nitrogen allocation across the vertical profile of light availability, throughout the growing season, and in response to fertilization.  



Published in 2012


On Predicting Yields of Short-Rotation Hybrid Poplar (Populus spp.) for the Contiguous US Through Model-Data Synthesis, Dan Wang, David LeBauer, Michael C. Dietze, Ecological Applications, doi/PDF/10.1890/12-0854.1, November 2, 2012


On Improving the Communication Between Models and Data, Michael Dietze, David LeBauer, Rob Kooper, Plant, Cell & Environment, doi: 10.1111/pce.12043, November 26, 2012.


Facilitating Feedbacks Between Field Measurements and Ecosystem Models
D LeBauer, D Wang, K Richter, C Davidson, MC Dietze, http://www.esajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1890/12-0137.1, Ecological Monographs, October 2012.


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