Wild bamboo stands fail to compensate for a heavy 1-year harvest of culm shoots

Donald Franklin

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    Bamboo is an important resource for humans, particularly in Asia, providing shoots for food and culms for construction. It is also an ideal subject for intensive management. However, most of the resource is obtained from wild stands for which the sustainability of harvests is poorly documented and intensive management is often impractical or inappropriate. I conducted two shoot harvest trials in riparian stands of the north Australian bamboo Bambusa arnhemica F. Muell. (Poaceae), testing a harvest protocol in which stands are rotated among years. In both trials, harvest had no effect on recruit numbers, but recruits were markedly smaller than in control clumps. There was no residual effect of the harvest on recruit size or number in subsequent years. However, both trials demonstrated that the harvest clumps failed to increase recruitment in subsequent years to compensate for the loss of biomass in the harvest year. This rotational harvest system cannot be recommended because a cumulative loss of biomass is predicted with multiple harvest cycles. Alternative management protocols involving within-season harvest limits may prove practical for wild bamboos, but achieving sustainability in the absence of intensive management may not be easy. � 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)115-118
    Number of pages4
    JournalForest Ecology and Management
    Issue number1-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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