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College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


The importance of wood and wood byproducts as biomass feedstocks is of increasing interest as a source of ethanol and electricity. Second generation woody feedstock sources in Michigan, e.g., hybrid poplar and hybrid willow (Populus spp.), and native forests, particularly aspen and northern hardwoods, are a potential source of woody biomass for these uses. This study provides a geographic information system (GIS) framework for assessing the current spatial extent of aspen and northern hardwoods) and their proximity to roads. Additionally, the potential for expanding the area of these feedstock sources based on pre-European settlement vegetation cover is assessed. Utilizing GIS technology to compile, edit and analyze available geospatial data (e.g., present day and pre-European settlement land use/cover, soils, road infrastructure, and land ownership) for counties located in the eastern half of the Upper Peninsula and northern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan provides a robust framework for various management scenarios to be evaluated in a cost effective manner and foster better decision making.

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© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( Publisher’s version of record:

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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