Journal article Open Access

Yield performance of dedicated industrial crops on low-temperature characterized marginal agricultural land in Europe – a review

Von Cossel, Moritz; Reinhardt, Jana; Hilgert, Pia

About 8.37 Mha of European agricultural land is affected by low temperature and thus considered marginal agricultural land. This land allows for industrial crop cultivation without competing directly with food security or biodiversity conservation. However, little is known regarding the yield performance of industrial crops under low temperature conditions. This study therefore compiles the available data and discusses them in the context of remaining uncertainties. Overall, 12 industrial crops were identified as relevant for Europe: giant reed (Arundo donax L.), camelina (Camelina sativa L. Crantz), cardoon (Cynara cardunculus L.), crambe (Crambe abyssinica Hochst ex R.E.Fr.), cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.), hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), miscanthus (Miscanthus spp.), poplar (PopulusL.), reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), and willow (Salix L.). Good or very good growth suitability under low temperature was indicated for camelina, upland switchgrass, reed canary grass, and willow. Nevertheless, it was also found that there are strong variations in yield performance within the selected industrial crops. Little information was found on the effects of marginality constraints on biomass quality. The uncertainty resulting from this fragmentary data situation represents one of the greatest challenges to the large-scale implementation of industrial crop cultivation across European agricultural land prone to low temperatures, especially in the context of climate change. © 2021 The Authors. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining published by Society of Industrial Chemistry and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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