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Switchgrass waterway buffers in the eastern Great Plains

April 20, 2018

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a highly productive perennial grass, has been recommended as one potential source for cellulosic biofuel feedstocks. Previous studies indicate that planting perennial grasses (e.g., switchgrass) in high topographic relief cropland waterway buffers can improve local environmental conditions and sustainability. The main advantages of this land management practice include (1) reducing soil erosion and improving water quality because switchgrass requires less tillage, fertilizers, and pesticides; and (2) improving regional ecosystem services (e.g., improving water infiltration, minimizing drought and flood impacts on production, and serving as carbon sinks). In this study, we mapped high topographic relief cropland waterway buffers with high switchgrass productivity potential that may be suitable for switchgrass development in the eastern Great Plains (EGP). The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Compound Topographic Index (CTI) map, National Land Cover Database 2011 (NLCD 2011), USGS irrigation map, and a switchgrass biomass productivity map derived from a previous study (Gu et al., 2015) were used to identify the switchgrass potential areas.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Switchgrass waterway buffers in the eastern Great Plains
DOI 10.5066/F7Z60N98
Authors Yingxin Gu, Bruce K. Wylie
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center

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