Hybrid Poplars in Natural Buffer Systems for Agricultural Pollution Reduction and Income Enhancement

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 1998: $157,721.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2002
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Barry C. Moore
Washington State University

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: general tree fruits
  • Additional Plants: trees


  • Crop Production: forestry, nutrient cycling, tissue analysis
  • Education and Training: participatory research
  • Natural Resources/Environment: riparian buffers
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems
  • Soil Management: soil analysis


    Reduction in phosphorus loading to streams is one goal of utilizing hybrid poplars in riparian buffers in agricultural regions such as the Palouse. This study documented the growth of 360 trees until they were six years old so that others may make reasonable expectations about the performance of hybrid poplars under similar dryland conditions. The phosphorus concentration of tree tissues was used along with biomass to quantify the amount of phosphorus sequestered within trees. The study presented a mathematical approach to designing riparian plantings in terms of the quantities of biomass produced and/or phosphorus removed when trees are harvested.

    Project objectives:

    1. The objectives of this proposal are to develop sustainable farming systems in the Palouse region by:
      Promoting use of hybrid poplar riparian buffers to reduce water pollution.

      Enhancing ecological functions by increasing total landscape diversity in agricultural ecosystems.

      Developing fundamental information on poplar nutrient requirements, nutrient recycling and nutrient removal essential to proper design of riparian systems for pollution control.

      Establishing a core cadre of Palouse farmers skilled in poplar cultivation and with linkages to corporate producers and markets.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.