Eucalyptus beyond its native range: Environmental issues in exotic bioenergy plantations
The genus Eucalyptus is native to Australia and Indonesia but has been widely planted in many countries. Eucalyptus has proven to be particularly successful in tropical and subtropical regions. Several species are also successful in some temperate regions, but problems with sudden and severe frosts pose limitations. Current plantations around the world are dominated by the “big nine” species (E. camaldulensis, E. grandis, E. tereticornis, E. globulus, E. nitens, E. urophylla, E. saligna, E. dunnii, and E. pellita) and their hybrids, which together account for more than 90% of Eucalyptus planted forests. Much of current tree improvement efforts focus on the use of hybrids and clones, and development of genetically modified Eucalyptus is already underway.