Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) groves have been expanding in Japanese forests, thus an assessment of the rate of bamboo grove expansion is a critical issue. Previous studies used time-series data which span typically more than a few years in order to determine the expansion of bamboo groves. This method cannot be used when time-series data were not available. In this study, we developed and tested a simple indicator based on one-time measurement of spatial distribution of culms to estimate the rate of bamboo grove expansion. Among 19 locations at four sites, the distribution patterns of culms from the pure bamboo stands to the expanding front were highly correlated with the actual edge expansion rate (E) based on the aerial photographs collected over ca. 15- and 30-year periods. In contrast, the culm density in the original stand itself was not correlated with E. These results suggest that one-time measurement of the distribution patterns of living culms (but not stand density) could be a useful indicator for estimating the expansion rates of bamboo groves.
Ecological Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 5, 2018