Determination of minimal age of five species of Chusquea bamboos through rhizome analysis as a tool to predict the flowering in southern Chile

Leonardo Tagle, Roberto Murúa*, Mireya Briones, Rene Montalba, Xavier Lambin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Synchronous flowering and subsequent drying up of bamboos of the genus Chusquea are important processes in the dynamics and structure of many forest ecosystems. In southern South America, bamboo flowering and subsequent mast seeding trigger rodent outbreaks associated with zoonotic diseases. Predicting future flowering events requires knowledge of the age of bamboo stands together with species-specific periodicity in flowering. We explored whether it is possible to predict the minimum age in bamboo plants based on the features of their rhizomes. We studied bamboo stands of age known by the local people in 15 sites in the coastal and Andes Mountains as well as in and the Central Valley of southern Chile (37° 48'- 43° 58' S, from 12 to 1047 m.a.s.l.). For 164 individual plants, of five South American Chusquea bamboo species (C. valdiviensis, C. uliginosa, C. culeou, C. montana, and C. macrostachya), we collected and characterized the number and shape of divisions of whole rhizomes. For all species sampled there was a tight linear relationship between plant age and the number of rhizome divisions or rhizomes, accounting for 11-99 % of variation. In order to overcome constraints caused by the limited number of age cohorts available for individual species and to allow for prediction over a wider range of age, we also fitted a common linear model to species with similar age-rhizome relationships. We provide calibration relationships that can be used for retrospectively estimating the date of last flowering over large areas where bamboos form part of the understory and for predicting the future flowering events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-432
Number of pages10
JournalRevista Chilena de Historia Natural
Volume86
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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Keywords

  • Age Determination
  • Bamboo
  • Chusquea Spp.
  • Hanta
  • Rhizome.
  • Seed Masting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

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