Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

A self-perpetuating bamboo disturbance cycle in a neotropical forest

  • Bronson W. Griscom (a1) and P. Mark S. Ashton (a1)

Abstract

We investigate a hypothesis for explaining maintenance of forest canopy dominance: bamboo (Guadua weberbaueri and Guadua sarcocarpa) loads and crushes trees, resulting in a self-perpetuating disturbance cycle. Forest inventory data revealed a peculiar pattern of tree form and size class distribution in bamboo-dominated plots within the Tambopata River watershed, Madre de Dios, Peru. Bamboo disproportionately loaded trees 5–29 cm in diameter, and this size class had over seven times more canopy damage than trees in control plots without bamboo. These differences were accompanied by reduced tree basal area and tree density in the 5–29-cm-diameter size class in the presence of bamboo. Elevated tree canopy damage was not apparent for trees ≥30 cm dbh, which are beyond the reach of bamboo. Additional evidence for the impact of bamboo was revealed by an experiment using artificial metal trees. Artificial trees in bamboo-dominated forest plots had nine times higher frequency of physical damage and nine times more plant mass loading as compared with control plots. Our results support the hypothesis that bamboo loading causes elevated physical damage to trees and suppresses tree recruitment, particularly for trees 5–29 cm in diameter.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Mailing address: Rt. 1 Box 543, Rowlesburg, WV 26425, USA. Email: bronson@morphoblue.org

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed