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Water Productivity of Poplar and Paulownia on Two Sites in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia

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As Central Asia is a region with wide spread water scarcity as a result of excessive irrigation of agriculture, land use changes deserve research about potential impacts on the already strained water resources. Poplars have a long tradition as agroforestry tree across Central Asia, while paulownia is new to the region, but has been gaining extreme attention as a potential plantation and/or agroforestry tree. Therefore, the water productivity of those two tree species is investigated here on 3-year-old trees, in order to provide insights in how far the newly introduced Paulownia could put additional strain on water resources compared to paulownia. Poplar (P. deltoides × nigra) increased the stem biomass by 5.4 kg at an average water consumption of 4.18 l/d (water productivity 6.79 g/l). Paulownia’s (Paulownia tomentosa × fortunei) stem biomass grew by 4.81 kg at 2.36 l/d in average (water productivity 11.9 g/l). Expanding paulownia would not exert more pressure on Central Asia’s water resources than an expansion of poplar.

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    Thevs, N.; Baier, C.; Aliev, K.




    water management, water use, semiarid zones, plant water relations



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