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Environmental Impact Of Bamboo

Jan 06, 2017

Bamboo captures huge amounts of carbon dioxide which they generate and convert into oxygen. Scientific studies in commercial bamboo plantations in Mexico show that bamboo has the capacity to capture 149.9 tons of CO2 per hectare in the first 7 years after planting (average of 21.41 tons / ha / year). Information which is fundamental and necessary to enter the international system of carbon trading

Bamboo does not release the trapped CO2 as it stays captures inside the plant, even after the harvested timber is used in value added products for construction, flooring, panels, etc. it still functions as a carbon sink. One hectare of adult Guadua bamboo can also produce 5.8 times more biomass compared to most other forest species.

Furthermore, bamboo is a sustainable and renewable resource because it continuously spreads vegetatively. This allows the formation of forests much faster compared to most other tree species. Unlike other types of commercial forestry crops where trees must be clear-cut and replanted, in bamboo plantations only mature stems are harvested while younger stems are left untouched to mature and develop.

All these characteristics have called the attention of industrialized countries, and reveals the environmental impact and potential of  Bamboo as a high yielding forestry crop. see bamboo as an alternative that could help solve a global problem, perhaps, even at less costs compared to other expensive technological processes, which are much more complicated as well.

Regulating Water and Soil Erosion Control

Bamboo regulates the quantity and quality of water, which are essential characteristics when managing watersheds. Bamboo forests also serve for sediment control. They form a sort of wall that prevent the loss of flow in rivers.

In addition, the forest cover of their canopy prevents the evaporation of streams. Therefore the environmental impact of bamboo is indisputable if it comes to effective watershed protection. 

bamboo plants with their interwoven system of roots and rhizomes contribute to the recovery and conservation of soils present on riverbanks. Beneath the ground lays an extensive network of rhizomes that ties together and prevents soil erosion on hillsides or river banks. Planting bamboo to control soil erosion is recommended in areas susceptible to landslides or slopes in the process of slowly loosing its soil.

This woven root system acts as a cohesive for colloidal particles, making the plant a very important species as a soil protector near rivers. In the rainy season bamboo absorbs large amounts of water, it stores the water both in its rhizomes as in the stems and soil. This means that bamboo has a high water storage capacity. Later on, due to the effects of concentration, the water is returned to the soil, rivers and streams during the dry season.

The leaves of the bamboo plants prevent the impact of raindrops, favoring the dispersion of the raindrops into smaller particles. This contributes that ground water is distributed smoothly throughout the forested area. If bamboo does not exist on hillsides or slopes, heavy rains will probably cause erosion problems sooner or later.

bamboo also adds a great amount of organic matter to the soil. Its large mass of leaves, twigs and dry stalks contribute to nutrient cycling, thus conserving soil fertility in both its physical and chemical aspects.