Mechanized harvesting of eucalypt coppice for biomass production using high mechanization level
Picchio, R.; Sirna, A.; Sperandio, G.; Spina, R.; Verani, S.
Croatian Journal of Forest Engineering
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PO Box 422, HR-10 002 Zagreb, Croatia
Forestry Faculty of Zagreb University
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|Abstract in English:|
The main aims of this study were to determine the productivity, profitability and energy balance (output/input) of mechanized harvesting applied to a. eucalyptus plantation in central Italy. The study area was located in Rome, at an altitude of 35 m a.s.l., on a flat, even site (average slope gradient 3%). The stand was a eucalypt coppice (Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh.) harvested for the first time in 2000. The planting pattern was square with 3 m among stumps (1111 trees ha-1). By 2009, insect (Phorachantha semipunctata) attacks had reduced stump density to 592 stumps ha-1. The work system applied was the Whole Tree System (WTS) and the final assortment chips for energy. Machine rates were calculated using coefficients and mathematical formulas extracted from the main methodologies proposed by different authors. Energy balance was estimated with the Gross Energy Requirements (GER) method. In these plantations, mechanized harvesting seems most appropriate: this is demonstrated by the high productivity recorded (PSH15 6.5 td.m. worker-1) and by the favorable energy balance (output/input 23.8, 95.8% system efficiency). However harvesting cost is still high (44.30 € tf.w.-1) and can only be reduced through careful operational planning.