Bamboos are distinct and fascinating plants, with a wide range of values and uses. They play a significant role in biodiversity conservation and contribute to soil and water management. They are important for biomass production and play an increasing role in local and world economies. This study used an innovative approach to map potential current distibutions of nearly 1 000 individual bamboo species that occur naturally within remaining forests of the Asia-Pacific region. The maps were also combined to generate regional maps showing potential species and generic richness. By quantifying the area of forest cover remaining within each species' range, this study shows that more than 400 bamboo species are potentially threatened by the destruction of natural forest cover. Conservation and sustainable management of wild populations of bamboo should be high priority, especially where diversity is high or deforestation is a significant threat.
A joint project between UNEP-WCMC and INBAR (International Network for Bamboo and Rattan).
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