This article is basically a review article on Bamboos, its uses and how their deforestation is harmful to the ecosystem.
Bamboo an Introduction: – They belongs to grass family and are the fastest growing plants on earth. They are able to grow in any type of climate, from cold mountains to hot and humid tropics. They are found in many regions of the world like parts of Asia, Australia, Africa and America. There are more than 10,000 species of Bamboo and they make up many large forest areas providing shelter for many animal species. They are hollow on the inside which makes them light in weight as compared to other hardwood trees. But the wood obtained is hard and hence they are used for many construction purposes.
Bamboo is not a weed, it’s a flowering plant. Bamboo is a magnificent plant.- Steve Lacy
Uses of Bamboo:- Bamboo is the important green material today as they have many commercial applications, especially when we are going for more eco-friendly and natural products. The Bamboos are used as a food source (bamboo shoots are consumed), for construction of houses, for paper and clothe making, making tools, making culinary, medicinal purposes and also as ornamental plant. They are harvested only when mature and unable to grow further, but the mass clearing of Bamboo from Bamboo forest is definitely affecting the ecosystem.This all has been traditionally followed since a long time but the increasing growth in Human population and rise in demand for bamboos has led to mass deforestation of Bamboo forests.
Impact on ecosystem:- The increasing need has led to the extinction of many bamboo species and many are on the verge of extinction. People are preferring bamboos as they grow fast and they have many good properties that make it easy to use and very economical than chopping big trees. They can replace any other wood because they cost less and are easy to process. Bamboo forests are important because of bamboo release 35 % to 40 % more oxygen than any other trees and fix up more carbon. The Bamboo forest act as a major carbon sink and cutting them down will lead to 20% more atmospheric carbon accumulation and lead to the rise in global temperature (global warming). Also, Bamboo forests are home for as many as 60,000 wildlife species and the deforestation impact will be faced immediately by these species as they depend on the forests for their survival. The roots of Bamboos are the best for prevention of soil erosion especially in the areas where there is heavy rainfall, steep slopes of mountains and near river basin.
What can we do?
- Go for an alternative option instead of bamboo, unless it’s not harmful to environment.
- If there is no other option then take care that the place from where you are buying bamboo products also plant and cultivate their own bamboos rather than simply clearing the natural forest cover.
- Spread awareness by telling these things to people around you.
- If you are planning to plant trees around you then consider bamboo a super good option.
– Pooja Navale