Bamboos of South-Eastern, Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan
The first comprehensive study on the bamboos of south-eastern Bhutan was conducted in eleven geogs (administrative blocks) of Samdrup Jongkhar District, which covers an area of 1877.94 sq km. The diversity and distribution of bamboo species was investigated both in forest and in the villages with field visits, review of literature and interview of the local community using a transect walk method of participatory rural appraisal (PRA). A total of 18 bamboo species from ten genera was recorded. Samdrup Jongkhar support 16% of the country’s 30 recorded native bamboo species. Dendrocalamus and Bambusa species were found most frequently and were growing in the widest range of areas. Two introduced bamboos (Phyllostachys nigra and Bambusa vulgaris var. striata) were found to have naturalized in small patches. Bamboos were mostly used for construction, handicrafts and as implements. The findings of this study provide baseline data and are important for conservation and for future planning of exploitation of bamboos in this biodiverse-rich section of the north-eastern Himalayan range.
KEYWORDS: Bamboo, Bhutan, distribution, Himalaya, range.