Publication Details

Genotypic variability and stability of poplars and willows grown onnitrate-contaminated soils

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Zalesny, Ronald S.; Bauer, Edmund O.

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International Journal of Phytoremediation


Phyto-recurrent selection is an established method for selecting tree genotypes for phytoremediation. To identify promising Populus (poplar) and Salix (willow) genotypes for phytotechnologies, our objectives were to (1) evaluate the genotypic variability in survival, height, and diameter of poplar and willow clones established on soils heavily contaminated with nitrates; and (2) assess the genotypic stability in survival and diameter of selected poplar clones after one and eleven growing seasons. We tested 27 poplar and 10 willow clones planted as unrooted cuttings, along with 15 poplar genotypes planted as rooted cuttings. The trees were tested at an agricultural production facility in the Midwestern, United States. After 11 growing seasons, using phyto-recurrent selection, we surveyed survival and measured the diameter of 27 poplar clones (14 unrooted, 13 rooted) that were selected based on superior survival and growth throughout plantation development. Overall, willow exhibited the greatest survival, while poplar had the greatest height and diameter. At 11 years after planting, superior clones were identified that exhibited above-average diameter growth at the establishment- and rotation-age, most of which had stable genotypic performance over time. Selection of specific clones was favorable to genomic groups, based on the geographic location and soil conditions of the site.


Fertilizer residue; phytorecurrent selection; phytotechnologies; Populus L.; Salix L


Zalesny, Ronald S.; Bauer, Edmund O. 2019. Genotypic variability and stability of poplars and willows grown onnitrate-contaminated soils. International Journal of Phytoremediation. 21(10): 969-979.

Last updated on: August 28, 2019