Bamboo is a plant with remarkable properties and plays an important role in the daily life of about 2,2 billion people mainly in Asia.
Bamboos are endemic in all parts of the world except in Europe where they did not survive the last glacial period. It is estimated that 1200 species are spread over the world. The total area represents about 18 millions of hectares with 3 millions in China and 8 millions in India.
The interest in bamboo has increased wo rldwide and several international meetings are annually organised since 1980. Since the first introduction of bamboo in Europe (1827), about 400 different genotypes have been imported. With suitable management procedures, bamboo can produce an avarage of 10-15 tons/Ha. dry biomass annually. In the USA, extensive trials have been implemented allowing the study of important aspects such as mechanical harvesting. For the present proposal, a group of 13 species have been selected for planting experiments throughout Europe: Plant propagation, ecophysiological research, harvesting, preservation and storage problems will be studied under several tasks. Plant quality will be a central preocupation. Among the 2000 references existing on Bamboo, the large majority are coming from China and India where bamboo is developed as a source of biomass for Industrial Transformations. Nevertheless, Europe today has a technological advance in some areas such as the micro-propagation, the selection of superior genotypes using molecular markers and the biomass gazeification for energy production.
This technological advance has to be integrated with the USA researches and with the Asian milenar experience.
Any extensive bamboo production implies an industrial use. The present proposal aims to develop bamboo industrialisation into 3 steps.
At short term, yet bamboo can be produced for soil stabilisation, riparian improvement, wind protection, poles for viticulture or fruit trees, small sticks for horticulture. Annually Europe imports millions of such products from Asia.
At medium term, vannerie, furniture production and artisanal could be considered as an ideal utilisation for a Mediterranean basin integration. The South of Europe will offer a raw material that will be transformed with added value in the North of Africa.
At long term, bamboo utilisations for industrial uses request supplementary analyses and tests. Two of them seem of major importance: determination of calorific value for gazeification and defibration for the production of boards or biodegradable gea-textiles.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts