Growth performance and biomass accumulation of four different introduced bamboo species in South-Western Ethiopia.
Bamboos are versatile plants having tremendous economic, social and environmental benefits. According to various literatures reviewed and field observations undertaken, Ethiopia has two indigenous bamboo species namely Arundinaria alpina and Oxytenanthera abyssinica, covering 0.6 to 1.0 million ha at 2400-3500 masl and 500-1800 masl, respectively. From 1800 to 2400 masl, there are no bamboo species, and the two native species are dwindling because of over-exploitation, gregarious flowering, shifting cultivation and extensive forest fires. Introduction of different species and evaluation of their growth performance is required in different agro-climatic zones of the country. Accordingly in 2010/2011 four potential bamboo species, Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Bambusa vulgaris var. green, Dendrocalamus membranaceus and Guadua amplexifolia were introduced and evaluated for their growth performance and biomass accumulation on-station at Jimma Agricultural Research Centre. The Four species were planted in RCBD, and replicated four times. Data on growth characteristics and biomass accumulation was collected every six months for three consecutive years 2011-2014 and were analyzed using SPSS. Results showed that D. hamiltonii performed best with average DBH, height and basal area 3.44+0.213 cm, 10.58+0.47 m, and 9.71+1.25 cm. respectively. B. vulgaris var. green had the greatest number of culms/clump (66+5) and showed lower performance in diameter of culms (1.9+0.92 cm) and basal area (2.91+0.26 cm2). D. membranaceus performed well in average number of nodes per clump (19+0.63) and G. amplexifolia showed lower performance in culm number, height and number of nodes 7+1, 3.167+0.20 m, 13+0.60 respectively. The grand total biomass for the species D. hamiltonii, B. vulgaris var. green, D. membranaceus and G. amplexifolia measured 82.16+0.94, 77.22+2.15, 75.18+1.95, and 11.90+0.45 kg/clump, respectively. Among the four species D. hamiltonii showed the highest total biomass accumulation of 82.16+0.94 kg/clump of which culm, branch, leaf and rhizome parts contributed about 50.32%, 16.77%, 20.25%, 12.66%, respectively. Among the four species D. hamiltonii showed faster growth performance and D. membranaceus the second fastest. The results indicated that D. hamiltonii and D. membranaceus are good potential bamboo species for cultivation in Jimma.