Fate of Culm Shoots in Wild Stands of a Tropical Clumping Bamboo

Donald Franklin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Bamboo culm shoots provide food for humans and wildlife and are the basis for vegetative recruitment by bamboo genets, a potential three-way competition with implications for sustainability. The fate of 605 culm shoots from three wild stands of Bambusa arnhemica F.Muell., a riparian bamboo from northern Australia, were identified. Shoots emerged over a four to five month period, but shoots that emerged in the first month were rarely successful. Recruitment rates were similar at about 38% in an unmanaged and a protected stand, with losses due to harvesters and animals four times higher at the former and losses due to culms rotting almost three times higher at the latter. Harvesters and feral animals preferentially removed shoots close to or beyond the periphery of clumps. It is proposed that culm rot is not pathogenic but rather a compensation mechanism in which shoots in excess of recruitment potential are produced, held in abeyance and nutrients withdrawn from them if they are not needed as replacements. If correct, this offers potential for sustainability in the harvest of shoots from unmanaged wild bamboo stands, but issues relating to clump expansion and culm size remain to be addressed. � 2008 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-111
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Sustainable Forestry
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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