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Evaluation of Miscanthus Winter Hardiness and Yield Potential in Ontario

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Title: Evaluation of Miscanthus Winter Hardiness and Yield Potential in Ontario
Author: Rosser, Ben
Department: Department of Plant Agriculture
Program: Plant Agriculture
Advisor: Deen, Bill
Abstract: Winter losses challenge the adoption of Miscanthus as a biomass crop in northern regions. This study was conducted to investigate the winter survival and yield potential of Miscanthus in Ontario. Twenty Miscanthus entries representing diploid M. sacchariflorus x M. sinensis hybrids, triploid M. x giganteus hybrids and diploid M. sinensis were established in 2008 at three locations in Ontario. First year winter survival ranged from 8-100% in Leamington, 0-100% in Elora and 0-89% in Kemptville. No difference in winter survival potential of the three species groups was observed in Leamington or Elora, but a diploid hybrid was significantly greater than all others in Kemptville. Establishment year culm height and basal circumference, and second year spring regrowth timing and biomass yield were associated with winter survival. Overall, winter severity increased from Leamington to Kemptville. The diploid hybrids were most winter hardy, followed by M. x giganteus types, followed by M. sinensis, though all had equivalent survival potential in Leamington and Elora.
Date: 2012-05

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