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ŠUMARSKI LIST 7-8/2011 str. 28     <-- 28 -->        PDF

D. Kajba, J. Domac, V. Šegon: ESTIMATION OF SHORT ROTATION CROPS POTENTIALIN THE REPUBLIC ... Šumarski list br. 7–8, CXXXV (2011), 361-370

Croatia. The issues and problems to be addressed in order to increase this
production include a change in policy approach, especially aimed at small
landowners, introduction of incentives and subsidies, lack of knowledge and
experience in growing energy crops and generally a lack of cooperation between
relevant stakeholders.

Key words: biomass potential assessment, Biomass Energy Europe,
short rotation crops


The main objective of the illustration case for Croatia
is to estimate the energy and technical potential of
fast-growing broadleaved species energy plantations
on abandoned land or on land where agricultural production
is not profitable, with a special emphasis on
willows as a typical energy crop in South-East Europe.

The patterns of energy crop production and consumption,
and their associated social, economic and
environmental impacts, are site-specific. Broad generalisations
about the energy crop’s situation and impacts
across regions, or even within the same country, have
often resulted in misleading conclusions, poor planning
and ineffective implementation. Adequately assessing
the implications of the current patterns of energy crop
production and use, and the sustainable potential of that
resource, requires a holistic view and a good knowledge
of the spatial patterns of woodfuel supply and demand.
There is a need to conduct spatial analyses of
woodfuel supply and demand that are able to articulate
the local heterogeneity at the regional and European
levels.There is a critical lack of studies providing full-
country coverage and based on a consistent integration
of data at lower geographical scales in Croatia, but also
in the wholeWestern Balkan region.

Looking at the achievements regarding energy crops
utilisation in Croatia, the most important ones are related
to the research and investigation of productivity of
various types of crops. Specifically, clonal tests of short
rotation crops were established in different regions in
Croatia and the goal was to determine the potential of
biomass production of selected willow clones in short
rotations of 2 years, on the site not favourable for growing
more valuable species of forest trees (Kajba et al.
1998, Kajba 1999, Bogdan et al, 2006). The production
of biomass per hectare was estimated in regard
to the clones, mean dry biomass of shoots, survival,
spacing, and the average number of shoots per stump.

Anumber of clones capable of starting initial production
cultures are currently available; however, in
order for biomass production in short rotations to be
recognized as a useful and cost-effective form of providing
energy supplies, a lot of work remains to be
done in many areas, not least in the area of plant improvement.
The aim of these field experiments is to select
the clones of the max. production potential with the
stem quality, and those poplar and willow clones which
will give the satisfactory production on the so called
atypical habitats for poplar and willow silviculture (e.i.
the oak and ash habitats) and which can come in useful
for the establishment of pre-cultivation for the purpose
of easier reforestation of common oak and narrow-
leaved ash.There are relatively many atypical habitats
for the cultivation of poplar and especially stemlike
willow silviculture in the area of the Sava river.

For the purpose of greater productivity, after the each
rotation, shoots should be reduced to one or two per
stump. Research should be continued in the direction
identification and selection of a greater number of clones
with specific adaptability to unfavourable sites, and the
production of biomass on marginal sites could be significantly
increased with the application of more intense
growth (agricultural treatments) and protection measures.

MATERIALAND METHODS – Materijal i metode

The methodology utilised for the purpose of estimating
the SRC potential within this illustration case is
based on the BEE Methods Handbook (Vis 2011),
specifically in reference to chapter 4.3. (Energy crops basic
and advanced spatially explicit method). According
to the terminology introduced in the Handbook, the
methodology for this illustration case corresponds to
the basic spatially explicit method, whereas the
methodology was selected mostly based on the available
data required to apply it.

The main source of data used is contained within the
Basic pedological map of the Republic Croatia.The map
was created as a result of the project coordinated by the
Ministry of Science andTechnology which lasted from
1985 to 1996 and forms the basis for the estimation of
soil suitability for any kind of designated utilization.

Based on the different types of soils, the current
utilisation and their characteristics (percentage of rocks
and stone, inclination, ecological depth of soil, dreined
soil, dominant mode of moistering, etc.) the total area
suitable for the production of energy crops was estimated.
This area was further reduced based on the information
available regarding the implementation of
the EU Natura 2000 network in Croatia, and thus ob