Identifying Sustainable Locations in Virginia to Expand Loblolly Pine for Bioenergy

Authors: Ingrid Witty*, Department of Earth and Environment Studies, Montclair State University, NJ 07043, Pankaj Lal, Department of Earth and Environment Studies, Montclair State University, NJ 07043, Pralhad Burli, Department of Earth and Environment Studies, Montclair State University, NJ 07043, Erik Lyttek, Department of Earth and Environment Studies, Montclair State University, NJ 07043, Gia Nguyen, Department of Earth and Environment Studies, Montclair State University, NJ 07043, Taylor Wieczerak, Department of Earth and Environment Studies, Montclair State University, NJ 07043, Bernabas Wolde, Department of Earth and Environment Studies, Montclair State University, NJ 07043
Topics: Energy, Agricultural Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Virginia, Loblolly Pine, Biomass, Energy, Bioenergy, Geography Information Systems, Fuzzy Logic
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) is a perennial evergreen tree found throughout the Southern United States, and is one of the most important trees currently used in commercial timber. Against this backdrop, and owing to its ability to grow quickly, its low maintenance needs, and long life expectancy, loblolly pine has proven to be a dependable stock for woody biomass. Increased demand for woody biomass in Virginia’s energy sector presents an opportunity for using Loblolly Pine as a feedstock, and so efforts are being made to identify and expand areas for pine cultivation. This study uses Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to identify locations in Virginia to expand Loblolly Pine plantations. Data from the USDA for factors such as topography, county level soil texture, and regional climate conditions have been collected to find suitable locations to cultivate loblolly pine. We will use this data to perform fuzzy logic analysis to classify locations based on suitability. The fuzzy logic system and network analysis will overlay the factors to evaluate potential locations and the output would present a heat map that identifies potential high producing areas for Loblolly pine in Virginia.

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