Daniela Hohenstern
Institute of Forest Ecosystems

Alfred-Möller-Straße 1, Haus 41/42
16225 Eberswalde
Phone: +49 3334 3820 300
Fax: +49 3334 3820 354

Contact persons for

Strengthening bioenergy regions (BEST), WP 'irrigation'


 (c) Thünen-Institut für Waldökosysteme

The most important factor for the yield of energy resource is the availability of water. Due to the dry conditions of the Thuringian Arable Plain, the use of local water resources is a necessary condition for an optimal yield of short-rotation coppices.

Background and Objective

The Thuringian basin is one of the driest regions in Germany. The irrigation of short rotation coppice (SRC) stands with biologically treated wastewater is an interesting option to compensate water shortage and to increase biomass production for energy use. The studies are aimed at examining the additional yield potentials in irrigated versus non-irrigated short rotation coppice (SRC) stands.


  • Development of concepts for wastewater irrgation.
  • Measurement of irrigation demand of short .rotation coppices (SRC) by an irrigation model ("ZEPHYR").
  • Implementation of a furrow irrigation by a tank wagon.
  • Establishment of field plots; assessments of field ecological and yield parameter.

Data and Methods

In order to quantify the growth of fast-growing tree species as a function of precipitation and irrigation events, the following measurements were performed:



Frequency BERTA I + II

Openland precipitation

Rain gauge

After rain


Rain collector

1x monthly

Radial growth


1 Apr.-30 Sept.: 3x weekly

Height growth

Telescopic rod

1 Apr.-30 Sept.: 2x weekly

 Total stem volume

Callipers, telescopic rod

After vegetation period

Leaf biomass/ leaf area index (LAI)

Collection of dead leaves

Leaf harvesting from representative trees

1x monthly; in autumn 1x fortnightly

Woody biomass


After vegetation period 2013


  • Due to irrigation regime the short rotation coppice (SRC) stand could grow in the years 2012 and 2013 under optimal water supply (>50% of the soil available water storage), and thus could produce high amounts of biomass.
  • Irrigated stands showed a higher radial and height increment than the non-irrigated ones, and produced more leaf and woody biomass.

Links and Downloads



Involved Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
    (national, öffentlich)


3.2011 - 8.2014

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: FKZ 033L028
Project status: finished


hits: 2

  1. Lorenz K, Müller J (2015) The effects of irrigation on the growth of poplar and willows cultivated in short rotation. In: Butler Manning D, Bemmann A, Bredemeier M, Lamersdorf N, Ammer C (eds) Bioenergy from dendromass for the sustainable development of rural areas. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, pp 147-159
  2. Lorenz K, Müller J (2013) Ergebnisse zur Nettoprimärproduktion von mit biologisch geklärtem Abwasser bewässerten Pappeln und Weiden im Kurzumtrieb. Landbauforsch Appl Agric Forestry Res 63(4):307-320, DOI:10.3220/LBF_2013_307-320
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