Drawing on two decades of fieldwork in the United States and fifteen Latin American countries, the authors bring together current knowledge of the structure, ecology, human uses, conservation value, evolution, and diversity of the forty-one genera of American woody and herbaceous bamboos. They also discuss three genera of basal grasses that resemble bamboos. They describe the importance of bamboos to South American landscapes and cultures, explaining how jungles of Guadua and thickets of Chusquea host communities of small animals and how human societies use bamboo for housing, furniture, basketry, food, soil conservation, and musical instruments. Exploring the possibilities of cultivated bamboo, the authors also note its value in some regions as a timber resource.
Hardcover, 392 pages. Published 1999.