New Papers on Mineral Nutrition of Bamboo Published

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The Tropical Horticulture Website of Dr. agr. Volker Kleinhenz features two new publications on mineral nutrition of bamboo. These papers are based on agronomic research on nutrient usage of bamboo at Central Queensland University (CQU) in Australia.

Besides his Curriculum vitae, a number of presentations developed during his employment for scientific, commercial and rural-development organizations, and several packages of cultivation practices for different crops, the Tropical Horticulture Website of Dr. agr. Volker Kleinhenz covers his scientific publications. Two of these publications address the high potential for nutrient absorption of bamboo under optimal water supply. The papers on "Water management and mineral nutrition of bamboo" and on "Culinary Bamboo Shoots in Australia: Preliminary Research Results" were both published by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) in Barton, Australia.

The crop management paper on "Water management and mineral nutrition of bamboo" published in the "Proceedings of a Workshop held at Hamilton, Brisbane" by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation in Barton, Australia covers experiments applying the crop-management techniques of irrigation and fertilization to bamboo. By modifying the growth factors "water" and "nutrients" their intensity in the environment and in the crop is manipulated. The intensity of individual growth factors and their interactions determine growth of plants through the so-called "Mitscherlich-model". The paper shows that "water" appeared as the most important growth factor for bamboo. While bamboo growth only tended to be improved by the high-irrigation treatment at early growth stages, this effect gained importance with crop age. Higher irrigation improved soil parameters which could have been due to greater nutrient cycling under those conditions: irrigation improved crop growth and thereby increased return of organic material to the soil, for example by leaf drop. Bamboo responded favorably to greater soil-nutrient contents only under high-irrigation conditions. Under those conditions, fertilizer application significantly increased the plant nutrient status but had no effect on the soil nutrient level. This indicates that available nutrients were effectively absorbed by bamboo under high-irrigation conditions. In contrast, excessive soil water had detrimental effects on nutrient uptake of bamboo. This indicates that bamboo requires water in large, but not excessive, quantities.

The research paper "Culinary Bamboo Shoots in Australia: Preliminary Research Results" published in the RIRDC Research Paper Series of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation in Barton, Australia demonstrates that successful cultivation of bamboo primarily depends on frequent "shallow" irrigations (approximately more than 2,000 millimeters per year) just before shoot production when rainfall is less than evaporation. Under such optimal water management, a yield potential of 15 tons of fresh bamboo shoots per hectare and year requires close to or more than 400 to 500 kilograms nitrogen per hectare and year. Fertilizer application in one season seems to have no residual effect on crop growth in subsequent years. Therefore, fertilizer must be continuously applied to bamboo at a rate sufficiently high to sustain a yield potential that is governed by water availability. The greater productivity of bamboo under high-input conditions (high irrigation and fertilizer) may also curb pollution of the environment and thereby maintain, or even improve, sustainability of the cultivation area.

Besides providing an overview of his scientific publications, Volker's homepage includes a continuously updated Curriculum vitae. Besides his recent assignments as a referee for the premium international agricultural journal Scientia Horticulturae and the Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics (JARTS), it also includes his latest consultation on Supplier Quality Management.

These details are also available at Volker Kleinhenz's LinkedIn profile, his homepage at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand and his Twitter account @VolkerKleinhenz.

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