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Reflections on the contributions of Populus research at Rhinelander, Wisconsin, USA

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Isebrands, J.G. ; Zalesny, R.S.

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Canadian Journal of Forest Research


The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service established three regional Institutes of Forest Genetics in the United States in the 1950s to improve trees for reforestation and improve the management of forests. The institute in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, started in 1956 as part of the Lake States Forest Experiment Station. Since that time, the "Rhinelander Lab" has undergone changes in research priorities, organizational changes, and name changes while becoming an international center of forest scientific excellence. Many of the researchers' key findings over the years were published in the Canadian Journal of Forest Research. In this paper, for the 50th anniversary edition of the Journal, we reflect upon one part of those accomplishments: the history of the contributions of Populus L. research at Rhinelander. We discuss major research programs and the scientists conducting this work, including (i) physiology of wood formation, (ii) short rotation intensive culture and short rotation woody crops, (iii) intensively cultured plantations, (iv) physiology and utilization of short rotation poplar yields, (v) breeding and selection, (vi) biotechnology and molecular genetics, (vii) atmospheric pollution and climate change, (viii) phytotechnologies, and (ix) ecosystem services. Also, we describe four major international conferences held in Rhinelander and (or) hosted by Rhinelander researchers.


Aspen FACE; bioenergy; biofuels; biomass; carbon allocation; carbon dioxide; hybrid poplar; tropospheric ozone; photosynthesis; phyto-recurrent selection; phytoremediation; poplar silviculture; water use efficiency


Isebrands, J.G.; Zalesny, R.S., Jr. 2021. Reflections on the contributions of Populus research at Rhinelander, Wisconsin, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 51(2): 139-153.

Last updated on: May 24, 2021