Dwarf bamboo is a dominant forest floor species, especially in the northern part of Japan. Sasa kurilensis, Sasa senanensis and Sasa nipponica are widely distributed in this region. Growth characteristics of these three Sasa species are also different: leaf longevity of S. kurilensis is 3–5 years. In contrast, leaf longevity of S. senanensis and S. nipponica are 2 years and <1 year, respectively. We predicted that ecophysiological characteristics of the three Sasa species would reflect their leaf longevity; however, their characteristics were still not well analysed. We examined ecophysiological parameters of the three Sasa species grown under the same environment. Net photosynthetic rate at light saturation (Psat) and nitrogen concentration (N) of S. nipponica showed high values after flushing. However, culms of S. nipponica were dropped after overwintering, and Psat of the 2-year-old leaves drastically decreased. Meanwhile, Psat of the current leaves of S. kurilensis was lower than the other two species. However, Psat of 2-year-old leaves of S. kurilensis still maintained a relatively high value. Psat of the current leaves of S. senanensis was higher than that of S. kurilensis even though N was the same. From these results, S. senanensis had a high photosynthetic nitrogen efficiency rate (Psat/N).
Part of the book: Bamboo