Impacts of bamboo spreading: a review.
Bamboo has been receiving increased attention as a renewable resource owing to its fast growth, economic value, widespread availability, and physical properties. However, environmental impacts of such intensive bamboo cultivation need to be assessed in order to avoid any negative consequences that could result from this plant's invasive potential. In this study, we sought to evaluate the possible implications of bamboo growth in diverse ecosystems, as well as its relations with riparian zones and local hydrology. We reviewed studies that have focused on cultivation of bamboo in various areas where they are not always native. Furthermore, we have provided an objective compilation of studies that report possible effects and impacts that bamboo may have in local landscapes where it has been introduced or established. We conclude that, regardless of bamboo being native or exotic in a region, it can become invasive in some ecosystems, even when a bamboo species does not show spreading characteristics. Introduction of bamboo in a new area needs preliminary studies to avoid the species that may become invasive and to minimize the risk of suppression of different stages of ecological succession in local vegetation and of the changes in the forest structure and diversity.