Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (6): 585-594.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019001

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity •     Next Articles

Variation in basic morphological and functional traits of Chinese bamboo

Gu Hanjiao1,2,Zhang Cancan1,2,Wang Jinsong3,Shi Xuewen1,2,Xia Ruixue1,2,Liu Bin1,2,Chen Fusheng1,2,4,Bu Wensheng1,2,4,*()   

  1. 1 College of Forestry, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Collaborative Innovation Center of Jiangxi Typical Trees Cultivation and Utilization, Nanchang 330045
    2 Jiulianshan National Observation and Research Station of Chinese Forest Ecosystem, Nanchang 330045
    3 Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    4 Key Laboratory of State Forestry Administration on Forest Ecosystem Protection and Restoration of Poyang Lake Watershed, Nanchang 330045
  • Received:2019-01-03 Accepted:2019-05-16 Online:2019-06-20 Published:2019-07-08
  • Contact: Bu Wensheng


Bamboo is a clonal plant that lacks a secondary growth process and has unique growth and reproduction characteristics. However, little is known about the variation in functional traits of bamboo among different functional group. In this study, all 534 known bamboo species (34 genera) in China were used as research subjects. Data of biological characteristics of these bamboo species was collected and organized from Flora of China, including various types of functional group and different functional traits. Types of functional group included rhizome type (sympodial, monopodial or mixed), shooting season (spring, summer, autumn or winter) and endemism (371 species endemic to China). Functional traits included height, diameter, internode length, wall thickness, leaf length and leaf width. Analysis of variance and multiple contrasts were performed to explore the variation in the basic morphological traits of bamboo among the different functional groups. Principal component analysis (PCA) was employed to explore the intrinsic correlations among functional traits and analyze functional trait variation in different functional groups of bamboo plants. The results show that: (1) Sympodial, monopodial and mixed bamboos differed significantly in their functional traits. Sympodial bamboo plants had the largest height, diameter, internode length and wall thickness, and the smallest leaf length and leaf width, followed by mixed bamboo plants. Meanwhile, monopodial bamboo plants had the smallest pole traits and the largest leaf traits. Species endemic to China had significantly smaller values for height, diameter, wall thickness and leaf length than non-endemic species. (2) There were significant positive correlations among bamboo plant height, diameter, internode length and wall thickness. Also, there was a positive correlation between leaf length and leaf width. (3) The “size traits” (diameter, culm height and wall thickness of bamboo) in vertical direction contributed more to the first principal component axis, while the “leaf traits” (leaf length and leaf width) in horizontal direction contributed more to the second principal component axis. These results show that for bamboo plants, the variation in capturing light resources in both horizontal and vertical directions may be the key factors driving the systematic evolution, the endemic distribution and the seasonal difference in bamboo shooting.

Key words: Chinese bamboo, rhizome type, endemism distribution, shooting season, functional traits