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Leaf dynamics and above ground biomass growth in Dendrocalamus longispathus Kurz

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Leaf production and culm growth as affected by different age groups of culms in a 10-year-old clump of Dendrocalamus longispathus Kurz were studied at Chittagong, Bangladesh. The total above ground biomass, bud break, branching pattern, leaf number and area produced by each age group of culms were investigated. The progressive increment of biomass-related morphometric parameters correlated optimally with the age of the clump. As the clumps become aged, the culms emerged in subsequent years were gradually taller with bigger diameter and more internodes. Leaf growth and defoliation are a dynamic process where leaf growth started in the first year of culm emergence but there is no defoliation. In 18–21-month-old culms the number and area of leaf, and biomass of branches, leaves and culm were highest; defoliation started at the end of the rainy season and continued in the winter dry season. In the third and fourth years leaf production and growth were getting low, but in the fifth and sixth years these sharply declined and ultimately the culm died. Thus harvesting of culm within 3 to 4 years of age could be an ideal management practice in the species.


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