An innovative approach to map potential current distributions of nearly 400 individual bamboo species that occur naturally within the remaining forests of Africa, Madagascar and the Americas. The maps were also combined to generate regional maps showing potential species and generic richness. By quantifying the area of forest cover remaining within each species' range, this analysis shows that over half the species studied are potentially threatened by the destruction of natural forest cover. The situation is particularly alarming in Madagascar, where the woody bamboos are all endemic and 75 per cent of them have only very small amounts of forest remaining within their ranges. Conservation and sustainable management of wild populations of bamboo should be a priority in all three regions, especially where diversity is high or deforestation is a significant threat. This report contributes to implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, which aims to halt the current and continuing loss of plant diversity.
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