Environmental technologies of woody crop production systems
Soil erosion, loss of productivity potential, biodiversity loss, water shortage, and soil and water pollution are ongoing processes that decrease or degrade provisioning (e.g., biomass, freshwater) and regulating (e.g., carbon sequestration, soil quality) ecosystem services. Therefore, developing environmental technologies that maximize these services is essential for the continued support of rural and urban populations. Genotype selection is a key component of these technologies, and characteristics of the species used in short rotation woody biomass systems, as well as the silvicultural techniques developed for short rotation woody crops are readily adapted to environmental applications. Here, we describe the development of such woody crop production systems for the advancement of environmental technologies including phytoremediation, urban afforestation, forest restoration, and mine reclamation. The primary goal of these collective efforts is to develop systems and tools that can help to mitigate ecological degradation and thereby sustain healthy ecosystems across the rural to urban continuum.