Demography and management of Top End bamboo, Bambusa arnhemica

  • Nicholas John Hogarth

    Student thesis: Masters by Research - CDU


    In this study, I aim to provide fundamental demographic knowledge about the dynamics of culm recruitment and clump development for the Top End bamboo, Bambusa arnhemica in its natural habitat. A draft management program dealing with shoot harvest and other issues is developed, with the aim that the program be adopted under the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2005.

    Some of the key results from the demographic study were:
    · Leafy culm basal area is the main driver of productivity.
    · Parents of new culms were mostly attributable to one and two year-old culms.
    · Productivity was not affected by the size of the clump; except at higher culm densities where congestion caused reduced productivity.
    · Small culms have higher rates of mortality than larger culms.
    · Most culms go through a state of senescence before dying, which can persist for many years.

    Fires, harvesting and herbivory were major extrinsic disturbances with significant effects on culm demographics. Common responses to these disturbances included small, congested clumps, reduced culm size, low productivity, and reduced culm longevity. Unexpected flowering was a significant intrinsic disturbance, and resulted in increased culm mortality and a dramatic decrease in the number, size and productivity of recruits in the year preceding flowering. The key message from these responses is that any action that reduces the vigour of the leaf canopy, or depletes the energy store in the rhizome, may affect the productivity, clump expansion and overall health of a bamboo clump.

    The management of bamboo habitat and the harvesting prescriptions outlined in the management program are designed to maintain the health and sustainability of B. arnhemica. Changes to the Territory Wildlife Regulations were recommended in regards to royalty payments for commercial harvest, bag-limits for non-commercial harvest, and seasonal limitations for commercial harvesting.
    Date of AwardJun 2006
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDonald Franklin (Supervisor)

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