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Bamboo diversity and conservation in India - Sas Biswas

Scientist, Botany Division, Forest Research Institute, Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education, Dehradun, India

Introduction

Bamboo occurs in different bioclimatically defined forest types ranging from tropical to subalpine zones. The diversity has considerably dwindled from natural habitats due to over exploitation, shifting cultivation, gregarious flowering and extensive forest fires. Indiscriminate removal of forest cover has resulted in the domination vis-a-vis gregarious growth of certain species of bamboo and thus the reduced species diversity in natural areas of their occurrence. Also an appreciable percentage of bamboo diversity can be observed in undisturbed key areas of conservation such as National Parks (NP) and Wildlife sanctuaries (WS).

Forests and rural areas of Northeastern and Eastern India comprising the political territories of the States of West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura have over 50% of the bamboo species of the Indian floristic region. Himalayan region consisting political boundaries of the States of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh (Himalayan part), Sikkim, North Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh is also rich with high altitude elements occurring under different ecophysiological conditions.

On a conservative estimate the forest area with bamboos in India is about 9.57 m ha which is nearly 12.8 % of the total forest area of 75 m ha. Bamboo areas in the States of Arunachal Pradesh have 19 790 km2, Assam 10 000 km2, Manipur 2500 km2, Tripura 750 km2 and West Bengal 164 km2 (Chakraborty 1988). In the forementioned regions, bamboo plays an important role in rural and socioeconomic development of the indigenous communities. They raise large quantities of bamboos in and around their homesteads to meet their local requirements and as a wind breaker. The development of artisan skills for handicrafts and wider utility of bamboo may provide more employment opportunities and better income distribution for the rural people.

The physical geography along with precipitation, temperature and altitudinal variation play significant role towards the diversity and richness of forests of Indian Himalayan, Northeastern and Eastern part of the country's bamboo flora. Broadly and bioclimatically bamboo diversity occurs as i) Tropical ii) Temperate and iii) Alpine types.

i) Bamboos in tropical forests: Different species of bamboo are found in moist and dry deciduous, evergreen and semi-evergreen forests and savannah type of vegetation. The species are found both naturally and cultivated farming bamboo landscape. Principal species are Bambusa bambos, B. balcooa, B. pallida, B. tulda, B. burmanica, B. cacharensis, B. khasiana, B. longispathus, Dendrocalamus patellaris, D. sikkimensis, D. somdevai, D. strictus, Dinochloa compactiflora, Gigantochloa hasskarliana, Melocanna baccifera, Schizostachyum dullooa, S. latifolium, S. pergracile, S. polymorphum, Thamnocalamus aristatus etc. Where a great deal of the region has been traversed by shifting cultivation (jhuming) the area has regenerated into bamboo brakes with species of Melocanna, Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Schizostachyum dullooa, Bambusa khasiana etc. The species of bamboo occurring on the outskirts of pine forests (Pinus kesiya) over Shillong Plateau are Chimonobambusa callosa, Drepanostachyum khasianum, D. polystachyum, Racemobambos prainii, Schizostachyum polymorphum, S. dullooa, Dendrocalamus sikkimensis etc. The sub-Himalayan and Siwalik tracts have very few bamboo taxa found as an admixture with tropical broadleaved species are Dendrocalamus strictus and Bambusa bambos. Biswas (1997) described various types of tropical forests with Dendrocalamus strictus.

ii) Bamboos in temperate forests: Temperate forests are composed of Lauraceous members, high level Oak-Hemlock, Coniferous and Birch-Rhododendron forests and confined to elevations ranging from 1500 m to 3000 m. The occurrence of temperate type of forests at lower altitudes in Shillong Plateau may be attributed to the fact that climatic factors with regard to altitude vary from one mountain to the others (Biswas 1988). The principal species are represented by Chimonobambusa (Sinarundinaria) callosa, C. jaunsarensis, Drepanostachyum (Thamnocalamus) falcatum, D. hookerianum, D. intermedium, D. polystachyum, Himalayacalamus falconeri, Neomicrocalamus (Racemobambos) prainii, Arundinaria (Sinarundinaria) rolloana, Phyllostachys bambusoides, Semiarundinaria (Sinarundinaria) pantlingii, Sinobambusa elegans, Thamnocalamus aristatus and T. spathiflorus etc.

iii) Bamboos in subAlpine and Alpine type of forests: The vegetation in this type occurs in higher reaches from 300 m and above. The type is represented by firs (Abies spp.), birches (Betula spp.), Rhododendron spp., Juniperus spp. etc. Very few bamboo species are present in this zone and only nearer to the human settlements. Examples are Pleioblastus simonii, Thamnocalamus aristatus, Arundinaria (Sinarundinaria) hirsuta, A. racemosa etc.

Bamboo diversity in key areas of conservation

The region presently discussed includes 12 States with politically defined territories (Table 1). Phytogeographically and biogeographically the region has distinct entities as northwest Himalaya, central Himalaya, eastern India and northeast India, characterized with 10 microhabitats for species and genetic diversity represented broadly in i) Ladakh ii) Kedarnath iii) Nandadevi iv) Siwaliks v) Terai vi) Sikkim Himalaya vii) Bomdila - Subansiri viii) Namdapha ix) Tura-Khasi Range, and x) Lushai Hills. Agro-climatically the region has three zones, viz. western, eastern Himalaya and Lower Gangetic Plains. Total geographical area constitutes nearly 680 000 km2 covering ca. 226 000 km2 of forest cover with 46 000 km2 of key areas of conservation (Table 1).

Table 1. Key areas for conservation of bamboo diversity (km2)

Source: Forest Survey of India Report 1995; Wildlife Institute of India 1998.

S.N.

Region (12 states)

Geographical area

Forest area

KAC

1.

Arunachal Pradesh

83 621

68 621

9 592.98

2.

Assam

78 438

24 061

1 920.58

3.

Himachal Pradesh

55 673

12 501

6 232.87

4.

Jammu & Kashmir

222 235

20 433

14 822.22

5.

Manipur

22 327

17 558

226.65

6.

Meghalaya

22 429

15 714

303.65

7.

Mizoram

21 081

18 576

810.00

8.

Nagaland

16 579

14 291

226.43

9.

Sikkim

7 069

3 127

1 011.10

10.

Tripura

10 486

5 538

603.62

11.

Uttar Pradesh Himalaya

51 125

16 999

7 408.10

12.

West Bengal

88 752

8 276

2 779.30


Total

679 815

225 695

45 967.50

Note: KAC (Key Areas of Conservation).
The region has 131 key areas of conservation distributed over 45967.50 km2 of geographical area with 20 genera represented by 117 species of bamboo. 30 National Parks and 101 Wildlife sanctuaries spread over 12 states (Table 2).

Table 2. Key areas of conservation in Himalayan, northeastern and eastern Indian states

Source: Biswas 1988; 1995; 1997 and Wildlife Institute of India 1998.

S.N.

State

No. of KAC

Total area (km2)

No. of bamboo species

1.

Arunachal Pradesh

12 (NP2, WS10)

9 582.98

41

2.

Assam

10 (NP2, WS8)

1 920.58

41

3.

Himachal Pradesh

33 (NP2, WS31)

6 232.87

6

4.

Jammu & Kashmir

19 (NP4, WS15)

14 822.2

5

5.

Manipur

3 (NP2, WS1)

266.65

45

6.

Meghalaya

5 (NP2, WS3)

303.65

45

7.

Mizoram

5 (NP2, WS3)

810.00

30

8.

Nagaland

4 (NP1, WS3)

226.43

36

9.

Sikkim

5 (NP1, WS4)

1 011.10

30

10.

Tripura

4 (WS4)

603.62

19

11.

Uttar Pradesh Himalaya

11 (NP6, WS 5)

7 408.10

11

12.

West Bengal (incl. Himalaya)

20 (NP5, WS15)

2 779.30

30


Total

131 (NP30, WS101)

45 967.50

339 (20 genera)

Note: KAC: Key areas of conservation (Protected areas); NP: National Parks; WS: Wildlife Sanctuary.
Himalayan region has 19 National Parks and 69 Wildlife sanctuaries. Status of occurrence, survey, species diversity, research needs have been indicated in Table 3. Diversity of species in Himalayan region are known for the following species:

Northwest Himalaya: Dendrocalamus patellaris, D. strictus, Bambusa arundinacea, B. nutans, Drepanostachyum falcatum, Thamnocalamus spathiflorus, Himalayacalamus falconeri, Chimonobambusa (Sinarundinaria) jaunsarensis etc., Besides several other species are grown.

Eastern Himalaya: Arundinaria gracilis, A. hirsuta (Sinarundinaria hirsuta), A. maling, A. racemosa, Bambusa balcooa, B. nutans, Drepanostachyum (Sinarundinaria) hookerianum, D. intermedium, D. jainianum, D. khasianum, D. polystachyum, D. suberectum, Himalayacalamus (Thamnocalamus) falconeri, Pleioblastus simonii, Schizostachyum arunachalensis, S. capitatum, S. dullooa, S. fuchsianum, S. helferi, S. latifolium, S. pergracile, S. polymorphum, Semiarundinaria (Sinarundinaria) pantlingii, Thamnocalamus aristatus etc.

Northeastern and eastern India: Arundinaria clarkei (Racemobambos clarkii), A. debilis, A. kurzii, A. racemosa, A. rolloana (Sinarundinaria rolloana), Bambusa arundinacea, B. auriculata, B. balcooa, B. burmanica, B. cacharensis, B. jaintiana, B. khasiana, B. kingiana, B. longispiculata, B. mastersii, B. nutans, B. oliveriana, B. pallida, B. polymorpha, B. pseudopallida, B. teres, B. tulda, Chimonobambusa callosa, C. griffithiana, Dendrocalamus calostachys, D. hamiltonii, D. hookeri, D. longispathus, D, patellaris, D. sikkimensis, Dinochloa compactiflora, D. gracilis, D. indica, D. maclellandii, Drepanostachyum (Sinarundinaria), D. kurzii, D. polystachyum, D. suberectum, Gigantochloa apus, G. hasskarliana, Melocanna baccifera, Neomicrocalamus (Racemobambos) clarkei, N. mannii, N. prainii, Oxytenanthera parvifolia, Phyllostachys mannii, Schizostachyum mannii, S. pallidum, S. wightii and other species as mentioned under eastern Himalaya, Sinarundinaria longispiculata, S. nagalandiana, Sinobambusa elegans etc.

It is to be noted that the species diversity in key areas are well recorded but nowhere the taxa have become gregarious in undisturbed state. Whereever there is opening due to shifting cultivation or clearing of forest cover certain species such as Melocanna, Thamnocalamus, Chimonobambusa, Drepanostachyum etc. have become gregarious. Further it is striking to find that an appreciable number of lesser-known bamboos are grown by the indigenous communities living in and around the key areas of conservation. Some species of bamboo have become more common in those areas, for example, Dendrocalamus sikkimensis, Schizostachyum polymorphum, Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Bambusa cacharensis, B. khasiana, B. burmanica, B. pseudopallida, Sinobambusa elegans (Sinarundinaria elegans), etc. Some exotic bamboo introduced to the region by the denizens who depend on bamboo for livelihood find a congenial niche for regeneration and wide adoption thus providing a bambooscape. Examples are Bambusa bambos var. gigantea (B. arundinacea giant form), B. multiplex (B. glauceseens, B. nana), B. striata, B. tulda, B. vulgaris, Dendrocalamus giganteus, D. membranaceus, D. strictus, Melocanna baccifera, Gigantochloa spp., Oxytenanthera spp., Phyllostachys bambusoides, P. reticulata, Thyrsostachys oliveri etc.

Lacunae in the knowledge of bamboos of key areas of conservation (KAC): Key areas of conservation defined as National Parks (NP) and Wildlife Sanctuaries (WS) in several of the biogeographic or phytogeographical or botanical regions have been recently demarcated and thus the census of bamboo flora of KAC is incomplete (Table 3). It needs extensive survey in these areas. Further, several KAC areas are studded with bamboo species grown by rural and indigenous communities for their livelihood. Many species have survived a wide range of trials and errors of human activities and the local people need training in many of the cultivation practices including the need for introduction, regeneration, utility items, harvesting technology, preservation etc. The knowledge on the forementioned subjects has not been gathered, documented and disseminated, since the survey in the interior of such KACs is very laborious and difficult. Population density with particular reference to the clumps of similar and different species and the number of culms per clump, growth patterns in disturbed situations have not been carried out in the region. Flowering cycles (gregarious and sporadic) of several of the species of KAC have not been recorded. Interaction with wildlife vis-a-vis habitat preference and suitability has not been studied. Short-term project activities keeping well aimed targets are proposed. GIS (Geographic Information System) based information system for the protected areas is proposed with emphasis on ground truthing through explorations and characterization. A comprehensive manual with semitechnical write up and photographic details is proposed for those working in the bamboo bearing tracts of KAC for better understanding of the resource which would ultimately help in conserving the useful elements.

Table 3. Regionwise bamboo diversity in key areas of conservation

KAC

Status

Total area

Known No. of species

Remarks

Himalayan Region





States





Jammu & Kashmir





City Forest

NP

9.07

2

INA

Dachigan

NP

141.00

-

INA

Hemis

NP

4100.00

-

INA

Kistwar

NP

400.00

3

NFS

Baltal-Thajwas

WS

203.00



Changthang

WS

4000.00

-


Gulmarg

WS

180.00

-

-

Hirapora

WS

110.00

-


Hokersar

WS

9.00

-


Jasrota

WS

10.04

2


Korakoram

WS

5000.00



Lachipora

WS

80.00



Limber

WS

26.00



Nandini

WS

13.50

-


Overa

WS

32.00

-


Overa-Aru

WS

425.00

-


Ramnagar Rakha

WS

12.75

4


Surinsar Mansur

WS

39.13

-


Trikuta

WS

31.73



Himachal Pradesh





Great Himalaya

NP

765.00

3

NFS

Pin Valley

WS

41.32

1

-

Chail

WS

108.54

1

NFS

Churdhar

WS

56.15

-

-

Daranghat

WS

42.00

-

-

Darlaghat

WS

140.00

-

-

Gamgul Siebehi

WS

108.85

-

-

Gobindsagar

WS

100.34

-

-

Kalatop-khajjair

WS

69.00

-

-

Kanawar

WS

54.00

-

-

Khokhan

WS

14.05

-

-

Kias

WS

14.19

-

-

Kibber

WS

1400.50

-

-

Kugti

WS

378.86

-

-

Lippa Asrang

WS

30.89

-

-

Majathal

WS

92.00

2

-

Manali

WS

31.80

-

-

Naina Devi

WS

156.00

-

-

Nargu

WS

278.37

-

-

Pong Dam Lake

WS

307.29

-

-

Renuka

WS

4.02

3

-

Rupi Bahba

WS

125.00

-

-

Sangla (Raksham Chikul)

WS

650.00

-

-

Sainj

WS

90.00

-

-

Sechu Tuan Nala

WS

102.95

-

-

Shikari Devi

WS

214.00

-

-

Shilli

WS

2.13

1

US

Shimla Catchment

WS

10.25

4

-

Simbalbara

WS

19.03

2

NFS

Talra

WS

26.00

3

-

Tirhan

WS

61.12

-

-

Tundah

WS

64.22

-

-

Uttar Pradesh





Corbett

NP

520.82

4

TS

Gangotri

NP

2390.00

-

-

Govind Pashu Vihar

NP

472.00

2

-

Nands Devi

NP

650.00

3

-

Valley of Flowers

NP

87.50

2

-

Askot Musk Deer

WS

600.00

-

INA

Govind Pashu Vihar

WS

481.00

4

-

Katernighat

WS

400.00

2

NFS

Kedarnath

WS

975.24

-

INA

Mussoorie

WS

11.00

5

-

Rajaji

NP

820.42

2

-

Sikkim





Khangchendzonga

NP

850.00

-

INA

Fambong Lho

WS

51.76

15

NFS

Kyongnosla Alpine

WS

31.00

15

NFS

Maenam

WS

35.34

-

INA

Shingba

WS

43.00

5

NFS

Arunachal Pradesh





Mouling

NP

483.00

5

NFS

Namdapha

NP

1985.23

2

NFS

D'ering Memorial

WS

190.00

5

-

Debang

WS

4149.00

15

NFS

Eagle Nest

WS

217.00

-

-

Itanagar

WS

140.00

25

-

Kamlang

WS

783.00

-

-

Kane

WS

55.00

-

-

Mehao

WS

281.00

10

NFS

Pakni

WS

861.00

13

-

Sessa Orchid

WS

100.00

-

-

Tale Valley

WS

337.00

10

NFS

West Bengal
(incl. Gangetic Plains)





Buxa

NP

117.10

10

NFS

Gorumara

NP

79.45

6

US

Neora Valley

NP

88.00

ca 10

NFS

Singalila

NP

78.60

7

NFS

Sunderban

NP

1330.10

5

NFS

Ballavpur

WS

2.00

-

NS

Bethuadhari

WS

0.67

-

NS

Bibhutibhushan

WS

0.64

-

NS

Buxa

WS

251.89

10

NFS

Chapramari

WS

9.49

ca 5

US

Haliday Island

WS

5.95

-

NS

Jaldapara

WS

216.51

5

US

Jonepokhri

WS

0.04

5

NFS

Lothian Island

WS

38.00

-

NS

Mahananda

WS

158.04

-

NS

Narendrapur

WS

0.10

-

NS

Raiganj

WS

1.30

5

US

Ramnabagan

WS

0.14

-

NS

Sajnakhali

WS

362.40

5

NS

Senchal

WS

38.88

6

NFS

NE Indian Region





Assam





Kaziranga

NP

430.00

19

-

Manas

NP

500.00

10

UHT

Barnadi

WS

26.00

10

-

Deepan Beel

WS

4.14

-

NS

Dibru-Saikhowa

WS

640.00

ca 20

NFS

Garampani

WS

6.00

10

US

Laokhowa

WS

70.00

-

INA, NS

Nameri

WS

130.00

10

NFS

Pobitra

WS

38.84

-

INA

Rajiv Gandhi (Orang)

WS

75.60

15

NFS

Barail (Proposed

WS

-

0

TS

Berak (Proposed)

WS

-

30

TS

Manipur





Keibul-Lamjao

NP

40.00

ca 20

US

Sirohi

NP

41.80

ca 20

NFS

Yangoopokpi

WS

184.85

ca 10

NFS

Meghalaya





Balphakram

NP

220.00

20

NFS

Nokrek

NP

49.44

10

US

Baghmara

WS

0.03

ca 5

INA

Nongkhyllem

WS

29.00

15

NFS

Siju

WS

5.18

ca 5

NFS

Mizoram





Blue Mountain

NP

50.00

3

NFS

Murlen

NP

200.00

15

US

Dampa

WS

340.00

20

NFS

Knwanglung

WS

50.00

-

INA

Ngenpui

WS

170.00

15

NFS

Nagaland





Imtanki

NP

202.02

25

NFS

Fakim

WS

64.1

15

NFS

Puliebadze

WS

9.00

15

US

Rangapahar

WS

9.00

5

Hb/Lit

Tripura





Gumti

WS

389.54

ca 10

Hb/lit

Rawa

WS

0.85

5

US/INA

Sepahijala

WS

18.53

-

INA

Trishna

WS

194.70

10

NFS

Abbreviation:

Hb (Based on herbarium record), INA (Information not available), KAC (Key areas of conservation), Lit. (Based on literature), NFS (Need for further survey), NS (Not surveyed), NP (National Park), TS (Thoroughly surveyed), US (Under surveyed), UHT (Under heavy threat), WS (Wildlife sanctuary).

Bamboos in Botanic Garden and Bambooseta: Bamboos of the region are least represented in the gardens and arboreta. Nearly 68 species correctly identified are present in three gardens and bambooseta in principal localities of the region such as Indian Botanic Gardens, Howrah, West Bengal (IBG), Botanic Garden and Arboreta of Forest Research institute, Dehra Dun, Uttar Pradesh (FRI), Bambusetum of Van Vigyan Kendra, Chessa, Arunachal Pradesh (VVK). Among the species mentioned only 35 species are indigenous to the region. The earliest record of bamboo cultivation in the Indian botanic Garden dates back to the year 1814 as evident from Roxburgh's Hortus Bengalensis in which he named 7 species of bamboo under cultivation in the garden. Robert Kyd may be accredited for introducing bamboo in Indian Botanic Garden during 1787-1793. Bamboos in the Botanic Garden and Arboretum of Forest Research Institute were introduced during 1925-1930's. Van Vigyan Kendra began growing bamboos in the early 1980's. During the past several decades the species were well adapted to different ecological conditions with diverse flowering behaviour etc. providing germplasm for dissemination to different parts. Other details are given in Table 4.

Table 4. Bamboos growing in Botanical Gardens and Bamboosetum of Himalayan NE and eastern India

S.N.

Species

IBG

FRI

VVK

1.

Bambusa affinis

+

-

-

2.

 

B. arundinacea (Syn. B. Bambos)

+

+ *

+

var. gigantea

-

+

-

3.

B. auriculata

+ ***

-

-

4.

B. balcooa

+

+

+

5.

B. burmanica

+

+

+

6.

B. copelandi

-

+ ***

-

7.

B. lineata

+

-

+

8.

B. longispiculata

-

+

-

9.

 

B. multiplex

+

+

+

var. (FRI)

+

-

-

10.

B. nutans

+

+ **

+

11.

B. oliveriana

+

-

-

12.

B. pallida

+

+

+

13.

B. polymorpha

+

+

+

14.

B. rumphiana (Syn. B. atra)

+

-

-

15.

B. spinosa

-

+

-

16.

 

B. tulda

+

+ *

+

var. large

-

-

+

17.

B. ventricosa

+@

+@

-

18.

B. vulgaris

+

+

+

var. aureo-variegata

+@

-

-

var. striata

+

+

+

green form

-

+

+

19.

B. wamin

+

+

+

20.

B. sp. (Hijo)

-

-

+@

21.

B. sp. (Seijusa)

-

-

+@

22.

B. sp. (Routa)

-

-

+@

23.

B. sp. (Maithang)

-

-

+@

24.

B. sp. (Tapii)

-

-

+@

25.

B. sp. (Chessa)

-

-

+@

26.

B. sp. (Nal Madhupur)

-

-

+@

27.

B. sp. (Mangal Madhupur)

-

-

+@

28.

B. sp. (Nal Chessa)

-

-

+@

29.

Dendrocalamus asper

-

+

+@

30.

D. brandisii

+

+

+

31.

D. calostachyus

-

+@

-

32.

D. giganteus

+

+

+

33.

D. hamiltonii

-

+ **

+

34.

D. longispathus

+

+

-

35.

D. membranaceus

-

+ *

+

36.

D. sikkimensis

+

+

+

37.

D. somdevai

-

+ **

-

38.

 

D. strictus

+

+

+

var. (Fld.)

-

+@

-

39.

D. sp. (Selari)

-

-

+@

40.

Drepanostachyum falcatum (Syn. Sinarundinaria falcata)

-

+

-

41.

Dinochloa compactiflora

-

+ *

+

42.

D. maclellandii

-

+

-

43.

Gigantochloa albociliata

-

+

-

44.

G. atroviolacea

-

+

-

45.

G. atter

+

+

-

46.

G. hasskarliana

+@

-

+@

47.

G. pseudoarundinacea

-

+

-

48.

G. rostrata

+

+

-

49.

G. verticillata (Syn. G. pseudoarundinacea)

+@

-

-

50.

Guadua angustifolia

+

-

-

51.

Melocanna arundina

+

-

-

52.

M. baccifera

+ *

+ *

-

53.

Ochlandra travancorica

+

+

+ *

54.

Oxytenanthera abyssinica

+

+

+

55.

O. sp. (Medang)

-

-

+@

56.

Phyllostachys aurea

+

+@

-

57.

P. marliacea

+@

-

-

58.

P. reticulata (Syn. P. bambusoides)

+@

-

-

59.

Pseudoxytenanthera thwaitesii

+

-

-

60.

Pseudosasa japonica

-

+

+

61.

Schizostachyum brachycladum

+@

+

-

62.

S. dullooa

+

+

+

63.

S. fuchsianum

-

-

+

64.

S. hasskarlianum

+@

-

-

65.

S. hespentinum

+

-

-

66.

S. pergracile

+ *

+

+

67.

Thyrsostachys oliveri

+

+

+

68.

T. regia

+ **

+

-

Note: Based on Bahadur (1979); Biswas (1988, 1995, 1997); Sen and Naskar (1965); Bose et al. (1987); Haridasan et al. (1987); Beniwal and Haridasan (1988).
* Flowered and regenerated through good seeding.

** Flowered but no seeding.

*** Occurrence doubtful for having not observed the species in the locality in recent past. Probably flowered, not seeded and died.

@ Taxonomically dubious and needs further check up.

Abbreviation: IBG (Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah), FRI (Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun) and VVK (Van Vigyan Kendra, Chessa, Arunachal Pradesh).
Knowledge gaps on bamboos under cultivation

There is an urgent need for developing a network of bamboo growing Gardens and Arboreta of the region and outside with a view to gather latest information on introduction, phenology, reproductive biology, propagation, exchange of germplasm, conservation status etc. There is a need for the introduction of other species of ethnobiological significance. It is noteworthy to mention here that most of the bamboo gardens and bambuseta do not possess up-to-date information on ecological and growth parameters, morphological variabilities, threat and conservation value and methods for multiplication, characterization with a view to widening the genetic base.

Rare and threatened species in KAC and under cultivation in BGs and Arboreta

Several species of bamboo have been threatened with extinction during the past few decades (Biswas 1995, 1996, 1997). This is mainly due to large scale reduction of habitat of bamboos due to illegal encroachments in forest areas, establishment of river valley schemes, command areas, industries, shifting cultivation, gregarious flowering, poor or nonseeding habit etc. Concerning those species which are taxonomically little or less-known there is need to conduct more research to save the monocarpic elements where nonseeding or poor seed setting has caused extinction or critical threat to the species. Endemic species in KAC have suffered tremendously due to habitat loss and site specific morphological features. Among the species, are Himalayacalamus falconeri, Chimonobambusa jaunsarensis, Arundinaria clarkei, A. debilis, A. kurzii, Bambusa auriculata, B. binghamii, B. cacharensis, B. copelandi, B. kingiana, B. pseudopallida, Dinochloa gracilis, P. gracilis, Drepanostachyum jainianum, Phyllostachys assamica, Sinarundinaria longispiculata, Sinobambusa elegans and a few others. These species are under threat since large tracts of different KAC were disturbed very frequently. A site-specific and species-specific strategy should be developed to promote conservation.

Need for institutional support at regional and interregional levels

Many of the bamboos growing in the region and presently studied have affinity with the taxa of adjacent regions and countries. At regional and interregional levels systematic survey, range of distribution, flowering periodicity, ethnobiological utilization, phenology, floristic compositions, introduction in production forests and homesteads of rural areas need to be studied by various institutes located in the region. Many of these institutes lack funds, manpower and expertise to assess resources. Inter-institutional support both at regional and inter-regional levels and interaction may help in developing, improving and managing the bamboo resources of key areas of conservation and production forests. The following institutes are identified for site and species-specific research and development of activities (Table 5).

Table 5. Region, states and institutes for interinstitutional research support

Region

States of KAC

Institutes

Himalayan region



Northwest Himalaya

Jammu & Kashmir (JK) Himachal Pradesh (HP) Uttar Pradesh (UP)

Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun, Conifers Research Centre, Shimla (ICFRE), YS Parmar University of Forestry and Horticulture, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, GB Pant Institute of Environment, Almora, UP, Botanical Survey of India (BSD), Dehra Dun. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun (WII).

Eastern Himalaya & eastern India

Sikkim, West Bengal (WB)

Institute of Rain & Moist Deciduous Forest research Jorhat (IRMDFR, ICFRE), GB Pant Institute of Environment, Gangtok, BSI (Gangtok & Howrah), WII, State Forest Departments.

Northeastern India

Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland.

IRMDFR (ICFRE), FRI (Dehra Dun), BSI (Itanagar) State Forest Department. IRMDFR, FRI, BSI (Shillong) North East Hill University, National Board of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), Directorate of Industries Manipur, Guahati University, State Forest Department.


Research needs and priorities: i) To develop networking on conservation of bamboo forests, gardens, arboreta, rural homesteads etc. ii) Institutional support at national and international levels. iii) GIS based information system for the protected areas. iv) Ethnobiological approach towards the cultivation, preservation of rare and threatened species. v) Collaboration with research workers - involved on similar projects on different aspects of bamboos. vi) to exchange germplasm at regional level and through international co-operation.

Acknowledgement

The author expresses his deep sense of gratitude to Dr B.N. Gupta, Director General, Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education, Dehra Dun for the sponsorship to the present Workshop-cum-Training in China, to Dr J.K. Rawat, Director, Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun for his encouragement and Dr Mohinder Pal, Head, Botany Division for the facilities during the course of present work. Lastly the author is highly grateful to Professor A.N. Rao, Hon. Fellow and Consultant IPGRI-APO, Malaysia for his valuable suggestions and advice on the work.

References

Bahadur; K.N. 1979. Taxonomy of bamboos. Indian J. For. 2(3):222-241.

Beniwal, B.S. and K. Haridasan. 1988. Study on bamboos through establishment of Bamboosetum in Arunachal pradesh. Ind. For. 114(10):650-655.

Biswas, Sas. 1988. Studies on bamboo distribution in northeastern region of India. Ind. For. 114(9):514-531.

Biswas, Sas. 1995. Diversity and genetic resource of Indian bamboos and strategies for their conservation. Pp. 29-34 in Proc. 1st INBAR Biodiversity, Genetic Resources and Conservation Working Group, 7-9 November 1994. (V. Ramanatha Rao and A.N. Rao, eds.). IPGRI-APO, Singapore.

Biswas, Sas., S.S. Jain, and S. Chandra. 1996. Rare and endangered bamboos, rattans and medicinal plants of Indian Himalaya and strategies for their conservation. Pp. 1-19 in Proc. Intl. Workshop on “Role of Bamboos, Rattans and Medicinal Plants in Mountain Development”, organized by ICIMOD, IDRC, INBAR, IPGRI, IOF, Pokhra, (M. Karthi, A.N. Rao and T.J. Williams, eds.). 15-18 May 1996. Nepal.

Biswas, Sas. 1997. Diversity evaluation of Indian bamboos, Dendroclamus strictus (Roxb.) Nees with particular reference to isozyme pattern. Pp. 19-25 in Proc. Working Group Meeting on “Biodiversity, Genetic Resources and Conservation of Bamboos and Rattans”. (V. Ramanatha Rao and A.N. Rao, eds.). IPGRI-APO, Serdang, INBAR, Beijing.

Bose, R.B., H.S. Pandey and A.K. Banerjee. 1987. Bamboos of the Indian Botanic Garden Bul. Bot. Surv. India 29(1-4):24-42.

Chakraborty, D. 1988. Utilization of bamboo as raw material in the handicraft industries in Tripura. Ind. For. 114(10):635-636.

Haridasan, K., N.B. Singh and M.L. Deori. 1987. Bamboos in Arunachal Pradesh - The present status. J. Trop. Forestry 3(IV):298-301.

Sen, J. and J.N. Naskar. 1965. Nonherbaceous phanerogams of the Indian Botanic Garden, Calcutta. Bull. Bot. Surv. India 7(1-4):31-61.


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