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Evaluation of Bamboo Resources in Latin America « Working Papers « Downloads
|Date posted||September 28, 2012|
Latin America is the richest region of the Americas in terms of the diversity and number of woody bamboo species. Twenty genera and 429 species of woody bamboos are distributed from approximately 27?North (Otate acuminata found in the north-western part of Mexico) to 47?South (Chusquea culeou in Chile) (Judziewicz et al. 1999). Of the woody bamboos found in the Americas, only Arundinaria gigantea of North America is not found in Latin America. Of the total 1 100 species and 65 genera of woody bamboos known in the world (Judziewicz et al. 1999), Latin America has 39% of the species and 31% of the genera. Brazil has the greatest bamboo diversity (137 species) followed by Colombia (70), Venezuela (60), Ecuador (42) Costa Rica (39), Mexico (37) and Peru (37). A listing of native woody bamboo species by country is provided in this work.
In general, the exploitation of native bamboo in Latin America is limited to the local use of species found close by. It is only in Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil that bamboo plays a more conspicuous role in the local economy.
It is estimated that bamboo in Latin America covers close to 11 million hectares, and that approximately 11% of every square kilometer of Andean forest is occupied by bamboo.