Impacts of switchgrass intercropping in traditional pine forests on hydrology and water quality in the southeastern United States.
Preliminary results indicate that switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), grown as a cellulosic biofuel between managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) beds on the Atlantic Coastal Plain forests has no significant effect on shallow ground water table and stream outflows. Although management operations (e.g. harvesting, shearing between pine rows, raking, and bedding) implemented for pine and switchgrass establishment can lead to increases of nitrogen export, the magnitude of increases was lower than those usually observed on agricultural drainage waters in the region. Final results of study will soon be available. An adequate length of study period should be allocated for accurately quantifying effects of switchgrass intercropping on water quantity and quality from pine forests.