Bamboo is of ecological and socio-economic importance in the world. However, knowledge on its potential in climate change mitigation remains superficial in Cameroon. The present study identified bamboo diversity and estimated carbon stocks of the dominant species in Cameroon. Ground truth method and local informants were used for a bamboo species survey in five Agro-ecological zones (AEZs). Twenty-two circular plots of 100 m² each were utilized for biomass and density data collection in AEZ 2, AEZ 3 and AEZ 4. Destructive method was used to collect 5% of culms per plot sampled for bamboo biomass estimation. Culm density and carbon stocks for each bamboo species were extrapolated to hectares. A total of 8 bamboo species were recorded in the inventory. Three dominant bamboo species were identified (Bambusa vulgaris, Oxytenanthera abyssinica and Phyllostachys aurea) in different AEZs. For the three dominant bamboo species, biomass of culm was greater (76-84%), than those of branches (13-19%) and leaves (4-9%). Culm density varied significantly across the different bamboo species, that is, 2296, 4374 and 38017 culm/ha respectively for B. vulgaris, O. abyssinica and P. aurea. Carbon stocks varied from 13.13 tC ha-1 (O. abyssinica); 29.62 tC ha-1 (B. vulgaris) and 67.78 tC ha-1 (P. aurea), with significant variations (P< 0.05) across the different bamboo species. The fast growth rate of bamboo underpins its potential for climate change mitigation and could influence decisions and strategy for the fight against climate change in Cameroon.
Key words: Agro-ecological zone, climate change mitigation, culm density, REDD+ strategy, Cameroon.
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