Estación Biológica Cocha Cashu
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Forest Regeneration After Bamboo Dieback in Southeastern Peru

Principal Investigator: Regina Peón Díaz Barriga, PhD candidate, Duke University
Co-workers: Nadia Castro Izaguirre

Approximately 180,000 km2 of Southwestern Amazonian forests are dominated by bamboo species of the genus Guadua (Poaceae: Bambuseae). Like most woody bamboos, Amazonian species demonstrate vigorous clonal growth through persistent rhizome networks that encompass large areas of land.
Sexual reproduction, in the form of semelparous monocarpic flowering and fruiting, occurs at time intervals of about thirty years. Such reproductive events create large-scale disturbances which undoubtedly affect forest dynamics.

Bamboo-dominated forests near the Cocha Cashu Biological Station started to undergo a massive flowering event in 2001. The central objective of my doctoral dissertation is to understand the mechanisms that give origin to the heterogeneous and dynamic structure of bamboo forests at different spatial and temporal scales. The long-term goal of this work is to place these mechanisms in the context of the larger-scale forest dynamics in southwestern Amazonia.
A major part of my research involves working on the population dynamics after regeneration from seed, of the dominant bamboo species (Guadua sarcocarpa Londoño and Peterson) at the study location. At a landscape level, I will use Landsat satellite images to trace the movement of bamboo along the Alto Madre de Dios basin.

Funding: Duke University, CONACYT, Fulbright-García Robles.

Regina en la playa de EBCC

Guadua sarcocarpa flowering near Playa Bonita , Photo: RPDB

Regina Peón Díaz Barriga
Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
Duke University PO Box 90328
Tel (919) 613-8091