Comparisons between seven fast-grown species in a semiarid environment.
Sardinia is relatively poor in forested areas, and imports both fuelwood for domestic consumption and poplar assortments for a paper mill. In this context, results are reported of studies into growth and performance of fast-grown species planted in 1981 in the Gallura region, N. Sardinia (500 m altitude, granitic colluvial soil, mean annual rainfall 645 mm with 43% occurring in autumn and 15% in summer). Height and diameter increment were recorded during 1984-89 for two poplar clones (Populus × euroamericana 'Luisa Avanzo' and 'I-214' [P. 'Luisa Avanzo' and P. 'I-214']), cedars (Cedrus deodara, C. atlantica), pines (Pinus brutia, P. radiata) and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Best results were shown by P. 'Luisa Avanzo', with growth comparable to that of poplar in N. Italy or Tuscany. P. 'I-214' grew less well, probably because of greater demand for water. Of the conifers, Pinus radiata and P. brutia grew better than the cedars or Douglas fir - P. radiata was more vulnerable to insect damage (Lymantria dispar and Malacosoma neustria were present in nearby oak woods).