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Bamboo: Is It - Like Almost Every Other Plant - a Lover of CO2?

Paper Reviewed
Grombone-Guaratini, M.T., Gaspar, M., Oliveira,V.F., Torres, M.A.M.G., do Nascimento, A. and Aidar, M.P.M. 2013. Atmospheric CO2 enrichment markedly increases photosynthesis and growth in a woody tropical bamboo from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. New Zealand Journal of Botany: 10.1080/0028825X.2013.829502.

Bamboo trees of tropical and sub-tropical areas are one of those regions' "most important renewable resources," according to Bansal and Zoolagud (2002); and in addition to the more common and mundane uses of the trees, Grombone-Guaratini et al. (2013) note that "several economically important uses in the cosmetic and medicinal industries have been found for Asian Bamboo species," citing Zhang et al. (2005) and Jiao et al. (2007). And they also add that "allelopathic and pharmacological potentials of native bamboo species have recently been demonstrated," citing Grombone-Guaratini et al. (2009, 2012).

Thus inspired to see how the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content might possibly impact the growth and development of bamboo trees, Grombone-Guaratini et al. (2014) grew saplings of 70 one-year-old Aulonemia aristulata trees they collected from a tropical forest in Southeast Brazil in 5-L pots containing well watered and fertilized forest soil within open-top chambers inside a glasshouse, where half of the trees were exposed to ambient air of 380 ppm CO2 and the other half were exposed to air of 760 ppm CO2 for a period of seven weeks. And what did they find at that point in time?

Quoting the six scientists, "after 7 weeks, plants grown under an elevated CO2 concentration showed an increase of 77% in photosynthesis, 56% in tillering, 104% in leaf area, 92% in height and 91% in total biomass." In addition, they say that the CO2-enriched plants "also had a lower stomatal conductance (-40%) and higher water use efficiency (62%)."

In closing, Grombone-Guaratini et al. (2014) further note that "current knowledge" indicates that not only bamboo but most tropical plants "grow best under CO2 enrichment," citing the work of Aidar et al. (2002), Souza et al. (2008), Krorner (2009) and Oliveira et al. (2010, 2012) as providing still other outstanding examples of this fabulous fact.

Aidar, M.P.M., Martinez,C.A., Costa, A.C., Costa, P.M.F., Dietrich, S.M.C. and Buckeridge, M.S. 2002. Effect of atmospheric CO2 enrichment on the establishment of seedling of jatoba, Hymenaea courbaril L. (Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae). Biota Neotropica 2: 1-10.

Bansal, A.K. and Zoolagud, S.S. 2002. Bamboo composites: material of the future. Journal of Bamboo and Rattan 1: 119-130.

Grombone-Guaratini, M.T., Jessen, R.C., Cardoso-Lopes, E.M. and Torres, L.M.B. 2009. Allelopatchic potencial of Aulonemia aristulata (Doll) Mac-Clure, a native bamboo of Atlantic Rain Forest. Allelopathy Journal 24: 183-190.

Grombone-Guaratini, M.T., Torres, L.M.B., Faria, D.A. and Jose, C.M. 2012. Chemical and biological evaluation of native bamboo species from Atlantic rain forest. Planta Medica 11: 1064.

Jiao, J.J., Zhang, Y., Lou, D.D., Wu, X and Zhang, Y. 2007. Antihyperlipidemic and antihypertensive effect of a triterpenoid-rich extract from bamboo shavings and vasodilatador effect of friedelin on phenylephrine-induced vasoconstriction in thoracic aortas of rats. Phytotherapy Research 21: 1135-1141.

Oliveira, V.F., Zaidan, L.B.P., Braga, M.R., Aidar, M.P.M. and Carvalho, M.A.M. 2010. Elevated CO2 atmosphere promotes plant growth and inulin production in the cerrado species Vernonia herbacea. Functional Plant Biology 37: 223-231.

Oliveira, V.F., Silva, E.A., Zaidan, L.B.P. and Carvalho, M.A.M. 2012. Effects of elevated CO2 concentration and water deficit on fructan metabolism in Viguiera discolor Baker. Plant Biology 15: 471-482.

Souza, A.P., Gaspar, M., Silva, E.A., Ulian, E.C., Waclawovsky, A.J., Nishiyama Jr., M.Y., Dos Santos, R.V., Teixeira, M.M., Souza, G.M. and Buckeridge, M.S. 2008. Elevated CO2 increases photosynthesis, biomass and productivity, and modifies gene expression in sugarcane. Plant, Cell and Environment 31: 1116-1127.

Zhang, Y., Bao, B., Lu, B., Ren, Y., Tie, X. and Zhang Y. 2005. Determination of flavone C-glucosides in antioxidant of bamboo leaves (AOB) fortified foods by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet diode array detection. Journal of Chromatography 1065: 177-185.

Posted 19 November 2014