Növénytermelés / Volume 66 / Issue 2 (June 2017) / pp. 89-110

SIMON LÁSZLÓ

Cultivation and utilisation of giant reed (Arundo donax L.)

Giant reed (Arundo donax L., Poaceae) is a robust, perennial, rhizomatous grass with C3-type photosynthesis. This plant is utilised in different parts of the world for industrial, construction, agricultural, environmental and bioenergetical purposes. Due to the fact that its above-ground organs can produce 10–20 dry tonnes per hectare without irrigation in a year, this plant is a perspective energy crop in Hungary. In this review, climatic and soil requirements, cultivation technology, industrial and environmental utilisation of Arundo is summarised and our related research experiences are presented.

Our open-field microplot experiments were organized with giant reed from 2007 to 2011 in Nyíregyháza, Hungary. Micropropated (American „SC Blossom” culture) or rhizome propagated (Hungarian ornamental culture) plants were grown in a sandy loam brown forest soil. Two biowastes (municipal sewage sludge compost – MSSC or municipal biocompost – MBC from green waste), and ammonium nitrate (AN) fertiliser as a top dressing were applied to the soil to study their impacts on the yield and mineral nutrition of Arundo. It was found that even from high (51 dry t ha-1) provocative doses of MSSC the accumulation of toxic elements as Cd or Pb was negligible in the shoots of Arundo. If moderate dose (13 dry t ha-1) of MSSC was applied to the soil, the above-ground wet yield of the Hungarian culture was significantly enhanced, by 21%. Similar stimulation of yields was observed at the second harvest of shoots if the soil was treated before with 18.8 t ha-1 MBC+150 kg ha-1 AN or 300 kg ha-1 AN (with appr. 50 or 100 kg ha-1 nitrogen active substance) as a top dressing. The wet above-ground yields were enhanced by 19.8% or 9.0%, respectively. Treated cultures had more harvestable shoots; however, the weight of one shoot was lower than that of control. Soil application of MSSC or MBC enhanced the specific concentration of K, P, N or Zn in shoots. Accumulation of Cd was also slightly enhanced, but its total amount in shoots was negligible. It can be concluded that above-ground yields of Arundo can be stimulated with biowastes or by artificial nitrogen fertiliser, without the danger of excessive toxic element accumulation in combustible shoots.

Keywords: giant reed, Arundo donax L., microplot experiments, yield, nutrient and toxic element uptake

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