Student Summer Scholars


Analyzing Survival, Growth, and Environmental effects of Willow Biomass Energy Crops at GVSU

First Advisor

Erik Nordman


biomass, willows, renewable, energy, trial, survival, growth, soil, Grand Valley State University



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To alleviate global temperature rise, public and private sectors need to investment in carbon neutral energy. Woody biomass feedstocks can provide low-impact energy due to their capacity to sequester carbon during growing cycles. This project analyzes a small-scale trial production of four different willow (Salix spp.) clones grown at Grand Valley State University. The trial’s purpose is to determine if and what kind of willow will be environmentally and economically feasible for commercial production in West Michigan. The four willow varieties were planted in May 2016 in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Survival, growth, and soil composition data were collected during the first growing season. The plants in the center of each plot were measured and their attributes compared using analysis of variance. Preliminary results suggest there is no significant difference in survival and growth among clones. Measurements will continue through the fall of 2019.