New paper in Forest Ecology and Management on estimating carbon biomass of bamboo

Tak has co-authored a new paper on bamboo biomass estimation that has just been published in Forest Ecology and Management.

Bamboo species are widely distributed around the world, and often achieve high growth rates that favour the accumulation of carbon. However, a general understanding of the carbon storage potential of bamboo has been hindered by the restricted geographic and taxonomic scope of previous studies. To address this issue, Tak worked with Jiaqi Yuen and Alan Ziegler (Department of Geography, NUS) to produce a comprehensive review of existing studies of carbon storage estimates in bamboo. This review includes an assessment of how much carbon is stored by different groups of bamboo species in different geographic regions, and the proportional allocation among aboveground and belowground components. In addition, the review collates allometric equations important for estimating carbon storage in bamboo, and provides results from a new field study in Thailand illustrating the difficulties and uncertainties in determining the carbon storage potential of bamboo.

Overall, the review concludes that bamboo has the potential to be an important carbon sink relative to other types of land cover, provided that bamboo stands are managed efficiently and harvested bamboo is used in durable products. Therefore, bamboo could be given greater recognition in policy instruments aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change, such as the Kyoto Protocol.

Jia Qi Yuen, Tak Fung and Alan D. Ziegler. Carbon stocks in bamboo ecosystems worldwide: Estimates and uncertainties. Forest Ecology and Management 393 (2017): 113–138.


A bamboo forest in Kyoto, Japan. Photo credit: Dariusz Jemielniak (covered by a CC BY-SA 3.0 licence).