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Ence's forestry research strategy increases its wood production by more than 200%

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Ence's forestry research strategy increases its wood production by more than 200%

October 01, 2012 - 19:21
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MADRID, Spain, Sept. 27, 2012 (Press Release) -Wood production from the improved plant is 237% higher than production from seed

The company's first reforestations using genetically improved material from a master clone known as ‘Anselmo', in honour of the Ence engineer who chose it.

The application of the forestry research strategy carried out by Ence in the cultivation of wood has produced an increase of over 200% in wood production, which is three times the crop over the same area. This is the result of Ence's R&D&I, which has allowed a tree, the master clone of genetic improvement, to be selected, which is called "Anselmo" in honour of the Ence forest engineer who chose it.

The selection of the "Anselmo" and the fifteen other trees of the first generation known as "plus trees" was based on drought resistance, plant health, growth and shape. Generally speaking, the reproduction of these trees through rooting its cuttings has contributed to the Ence plantations which have greater resistance against limiting factors such as drought or plagues, as well as a greater volume of timber-yielding and, therefore, a greater production of wood over a smaller area.

The milestone of the strategy developed, which has sparked the interest of wood producers around the world, was in allowing the eucalyptus plant's scions or cuttings to take root and become a plant useful for cultivation, something which is very difficult for this species of tree. After defining and commercially adapting this meticulous process, Ence's forest research has focussed on improving the first generation of "plus trees" through controlled crossing. In this way, the second generation of improved plants was created and christened with names of Huelva's rivers. A 30% improvement on the results obtained by the first generation was recorded, especially with regard to survival, height and diameter.

In parallel to this, Ence's forestry researchers and technicians have developed and defined the most appropriate forestry techniques for this new generation of plants, with the aim of continuing to increase its efficiency in wood production.

All the experience and knowledge garnered on timber-yielding plant species, as well as their behaviour in different ecosystems, is what Ence is currently providing to its most innovative research line: energy cultivation. The aim is to achieve environmental and productive efficiency of biomass cultivation and ensure a beneficial social impact through the creation of jobs and wealth, which comes with its development.

Ence, the leading biomass renewable energy company in Spain, currently has over 17,500 hectares for energy cultivation, with an investment of 42 million euros in rural regions.

‘Anselmo', the master clone

The 334-1-AR "Anselmo" clone, the "mother" plant from which millions of cuttings have been harvested to reproduce its superior qualities, is the best of the sixteen clones of the first plus generation, which were in turn the best of the 800 trees selected by Ence in the province of Huelva.

The rooting of the ‘Anselmo' clone and subsequent reforestations carried out by the company are a major milestone in Ence's forestry R&D programme. It has been referenced as the benchmark plant material or master clone in many academic and research papers and publications in the genetic and forestry improvement.