Australia's three native bamboo species - Bambusa arnhemica, Mullerochloa moreheadiana and Neololeba atra - are restricted to northern Australia. The most parsimonious explanation for the occurrence of bamboo in Australia is that there have been at least three founder events from Asia, but other possibilities exist including an Australian radiation involving Neololeba and Mullerochloa. Bambusa arnhemica may be allied to the Asian B. blumeana which occurs as close as Timor. I summarise historical evidence and biogeographic patterns for B. arnhemica, and describe the flowering wave phenomenon in the species, evidence which collectively suggests that B. arnhemica is neither very ancient nor very recent in origin. Current studies of the population genetics of B. arnhemica, and of the relationship between Australian and Asian bamboos, may yield fascinating further biogeographic insights. � 2008 Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|