Guidelines for including bamboos in tropical ecosystem monitoring

Belén Fadrique, Joseph W. Veldman, James W. Dalling, Lynn G. Clark, Lia Montti, Eduardo Ruiz-Sanchez, Débora C. Rother, Francisca Ely, William Farfan-Ríos, Paul Gagnon, Cecilia M. Prada, Juan Carlos Camargo García, Sonali Saha, Thomas T. Veblen, Ximena Londoño, Kenneth J. Feeley, Cara A. Rockwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bamboos are a diverse and ecologically important group of plants that have the potential to modulate the structure, composition, and function of forests. With the aim of increasing the visibility and representation of bamboo in forest surveys, and to standardize techniques across ecosystems, we present a protocol for bamboo monitoring in permanent research plots. A bamboo protocol is necessary because measurements and sampling schemes that are well-suited to trees are inadequate for monitoring most bamboo species and populations. Our protocol suggests counting all bamboo culms (stems) in the study plot and determining bamboo dimensions based on two different approaches: (a) measuring a random subset of 60 culms and calculating the average dimensions or (b) measuring all culms. With data from 1-ha plots in the Peruvian Andes, we show that both approaches provide very similar estimates of bamboo basal area. We suggest including all mature culms rooted inside change the to each plot from all woody bamboo species with maximum diameters ≥1 cm. We also present recommendations on how to collect vouchers of bamboo species for identification. Data collected according to our proposed protocols will increase our understanding of regional and global patterns in bamboo diversity and the role of bamboo in forest dynamics. Abstract in Spanish is available with online material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-443
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Bambusoideae
  • Peru
  • forest monitoring
  • protocol
  • tropical ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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