A recent peer reviewed article examines the ecosystem services of poplar at long-term phytoremediation sites in the Midwest and Southeast, United States, and presents data for 5-15 year old poplars grown in phytoremediation plantings. Trees that are grown in short rotation cycles of 20 years or less (Short Rotation Woody Crops), specifically poplars, are suited to phytoremediation due to their genetics (poplars commonly hybridize and can transfer favorable traits through generations), physiology (e.g., rapid growth, extensive rooting, elevated water usage), and well-established prescriptions for growing them (e.g., rooted vs un-rooted cuttings, planting spacing, etc.). This review examines the performance of specific clones and summarizes data for two ecosystem services (biomass production and carbon allocation) of poplars. A total of 55 clones were tested, which to the authors’ knowledge is the greatest diversity of clones reported for long-term phytoremediation studies.
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