Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

R. Pude and H. Franken:

Reynoutria bohemica - an alternative to Miscanthus x giganteus?


In the relative absence of reports on Reynoutria as a possible alternative to Miscanthus both as perennial "renewable resources", cultivation effects on plant development and yield were tested in field trials at Dikopshof experimental station of Bonn University. Miscanthus was planted in 1995 with densities of either 1 plant/m2 or 4 plants/m2 and Reynoutria in 1996 with either 1 plant/ m2 or 3 plants/ m2 either 0 or 200 kg nitrogen/ha as mineral fertilizer.

The majority of Miscanthus plants was damaged in the first winter after the planting due to the lack of frost hardiness. Plant development and dry matter were determined in the first two and first three years, respectively. In the final years 1998/99, techniques were examined to remove the 3 and 4 year-old Reynoutria and the 4 and 5 year-old Miscanthus.

In the first year, Miscanthus formed a larger number of shoots with up to 57 shoots/plant and Reynoutria higher shoots of up to 223 cm. Miscanthus outyielded Reynoutria in the first two years, a situation which reversed in the third year with 24.2 t dry matter per hectare. The higher plant densities both in Reynoutria and also in Miscanthus produced a larger number of shoots/m2 and higher yields in the three years. The future development will be assessed. Nitrogen fertilization affected plant development and dry matter only of Reynoutria. In the year 1998 the removing of Miscanthus and Reynoutria with Round up, cultivating or regular mowing caused considerable problems. The perennial results indicate that Reynoutria reaches actually the high yield of Miscanthus. While Reynoutria advantages in winter hardness the removal is very difficult. For this reason Miscanthus should be preferred as far as the planned utilization allows that.

Key Words: Renewable resources, Miscanthus x giganteus, Reynoutria bohemica, establishment, yield.