University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point students identified and named two new bamboo species. Biology and forestry professor Emmet Judziewicz is also credited in the discovery. The three co-authored a paper together about their findings.
Tonya Wayda and Eddie Shea are the students who identified and gave the scientific names Aulonemia austroviscosa and A. bromoides to the species. The actual bamboo samples were provided by students from Bolivia. The area where the bamboo species are from in Bolivia is likely to hold other undiscovered species. Professor Judziewicz remarked on the potential, “There’s decades, if not a century of work on these bamboos. If you can get to every remote mountainside in South America and collect this group of bamboos. It’s so diverse, we’ve barely scratched the surface on the diversity of these things.”
For example, Bolivia’s Amboro National Park is thought to have about 638 plant species, including some that are bamboo, but there could be many more there not yet identified. Madidi National Park is several times larger, and has an estimated 4,700 plant species. It also has 1,000 identified bird species.
Bolivian National Park Madidi
Bolivia has many identified species of bamboo. The number is at least 17, not counting the two new ones. Several of them have commercial value for people.
Bamboo Musical Instrument
Image Credit: Clemson
Note that the bamboo picture above is not the actual species mentioned. A photo was not readily available.