Is Bamboo invasive?
Bamboo is an aggressive woody grass that requires cultivation to insure both the property rights of the owner are respected as well as sound, sustainable environmental stewardship. The aggressive nature of Bamboo makes it among the most efficient carbon absorption mechanism on the planet. The plants efficiency in converting sunlight and carbon dioxide into plant matter and oxygen are the definition the role of a renewable resource.
Bamboo, which has over a thousand different species to offer, is considered both a native and non-native plant in North America. Questions regarding Bamboo being an invasive plant become murky with the consideration of the introduced species from Asia. “Non-native are those present in a specified region only as a direct or indirect result of human activity”(ref1) . These introduces species are problematic if they are..”likely to cause negative impacts and that do not provide an equivalent or greater benefit to society”. (ref2)
The argument continues, “For policy purposes, to be considered invasive, the negative impacts caused by a non-native species will be deemed to outweigh the beneficial effects it provides. Finally, a non-native species might be considered invasive in one region but not in another. Whether or not a species is considered an invasive species depends largely on human values. By attempting to manage invasive species, we are affirming our economic and environmental values. …. The right to self-determination is an important concept in a democratic society, however, with that right comes personal responsibility and stewardship, which includes being environmentally responsible. supports, and the high quality of life our society enjoys”(ref3).
The question becomes a challenge of management and the solution is framed in the responsible utilization of resources; one of the essential issues man has faced since he first started cultivating crops more that ten thousand years ago.
Bamboo plants are perennials that are propagated through the spread by rhizomes – the dense root structure that is responsible for the stability of the system, nourishing the plant with food and water. Management of the Bamboo plants requires that these rhizomes are set in the area to be cultivated and boarders are established to insure controlled natural spread of the species. Barriers are placed using plastic sheeting to contain the shallow rhizome root system. The plastic barriers are trenched two feet below the surface around the peripheral area to be cultivated.
Cultivation is the key word here regarding the successful planting and enjoyment of Bamboo. The social benefits garnered from being an aggressive carbon absorption phenomenon capable of provide food, fiber and bucolic landscape attributes are important to the development of sustainable stewardship of planet earth.
(1) AN INVASIVE SPECIES ASSESSMENT PROTOCOL
EVALUATING NON-NATIVE PLANTS
FOR THEIR IMPACT ON BIODIVERSITY /VERSION 1
1101 Wilson Boulevard, 15 th Floor
Arlington, VA 22209
(2)Invasive Species Definition Clarification and Guidance White Paper
Submitted by the Definitions Subcommittee of the
Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC)
Approved by ISAC April 27, 2006
For more information regarding the cultivation of Bamboo see:
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