Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Koelreuteria paniculata invasiveness, yielding capacity and harvest date influence on biodiesel feedstock properties.

Abstract

Due to Koelreuteria paniculata Laxm., high abundance in Novi Sad (Serbia) and previously confirmed biodiesel feedstock suitability, this study aimed to assess generative potential and yield, assess K. paniculata invasive risk, and investigate the influence of harvesting periods on the oil content and quality. Fifty-five specimens present in the Novi Sad inner-city core exhibited very high scores in the conducted invasiveness risk assessment (score 35/39). Determined good overall adaptability, growth and development, vitality and decorativeness of K. paniculata specimens, as well as the absence of phytopathological and entomological damages, due to lack of natural enemies, provided this species high unhindered yielding. The majority of investigated trees reached 5-10 m in height and canopy volumes from 10.1 to 70 m3, with an estimated more than 130 000-700 000 seeds produced per canopy. Seeds from one representative specimen were collected on different harvesting dates, at the end of August, September and October of 2019, and analyzed for oil content and quality for biodiesel production. With the average oil percentage of 22.8 w%, determined in the representative specimen, investigated 55 seed-bearing K. paniculata trees merely in the inner city core of Novi Sad, could produce 115 kg of oil. Since oil properties (< 1 w% of free fatty acids and the acid number < 2 mgKOH.g-1) and fatty acid profile (high content of monounsaturated fatty acids ≈72 w%) fit the requirements set in EN14214 biodiesel standard, regardless of the harvest date, harvest season can be extended to at least three months without compromising the oil quality for biodiesel production. Thus, intrinsic disservice of K. paniculata - high seed yielding can be shifted into a novel ecosystem service - quality biodiesel production. Aiming to avoid viable seed deposition in the ground and formation of the invasive seed bank, early August harvest can be recommended.