Observations on the clonal parentage of culms in wild stands of a clumping bamboo from Northern Australia

N HOGARTH, Donald Franklin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    HOGARTH NJ & FRANKLIN DC. 2009. Observations on the clonal parentage of culms in wild stands of a clumping bamboo from northern australia. Culms and culm shoots harvested from bamboo are the primary products of multi-generational sequences of clonal parents and offspring. However, very little is known about the contribution of clonal parent-offspring relationships to productivity. We investigated age and size relationships and the impact of disturbance on clonal parent-offspring relationships for 491 culm recruits in wild clumps of the monocarpic bamboo, Bambusa arnhemica, from monsoonal northern Australia. Although one-year-old parents were the most common, we found considerable flexibility in parent - offspring relationships, with variation among years in the age of parents. Moreover, rhizomes with senescent or dead culms still produced new ramets. Offspring were generally of similar size to their parents although this varied among years and was influenced by disturbance. The age of the parent did not markedly affect the size of the offspring provided that the parent was leafy. Parent rhizomes with senescent or dead culms produced much smaller offspring. We argue that the suggested prominent role of first-year ramets as parents has little or nothing to do with their contribution to clump resources. A management emphasis on retaining one-year-old culms as the immediate drivers of productivity may be misplaced.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)139-146
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Tropical Forest Science
    Volume21
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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