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The Chittagong story: studies on the ecology of rat floods and bamboo masting

The Chittagong story: studies on the ecology of rat floods and bamboo masting

Belmain, S.R. ORCID: 0000-0002-5590-7545, Chakma, N., Sarker, N.J., Sarker, S.U., Sarker, S.K. and Kamal, N.Q. (2010) The Chittagong story: studies on the ecology of rat floods and bamboo masting. In: Singleton, Grant R., Belmain, Steve R. ORCID: 0000-0002-5590-7545, Brown, Peter R. and Hardy, Bill, (eds.) Rodent outbreaks: ecology and impacts. International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Los Banos, Philippines, pp. 49-63. ISBN 9789712202575

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Abstract

Rodent population outbreaks due to the 50-year cycle of gregarious flowering and seed masting of Melocanna baccifera were first noted in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh during the crop production cycle of 2008. The wave of flowering has steadily moved southward through the region each year, with seed masting still occurring in some areas of the CHT during 2010. Because of
a lack of surveillance, it is not yet known whether all Melocanna bamboo forests across the region have now initiated flowering. Ecological surveys carried out
during the masting event have provided some preliminary evidence that nearly all rodent species are able to exploit Melocanna bamboo seeds as a food resource, with nearly 30% of the seed fallen in forests damaged by rodents.
Breeding potential of the predominant species found, Rattus rattus, appears to confirm that aseasonal breeding occurs due to the abundant supply of bamboo seed during masting events. These preliminary results obtained from ongoing
research surveys are discussed in the context of the management response to the regional famine triggered by the severe crop damage caused by rodent population outbreaks.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: [1] In addition to being one of the co-editors of this collection of papers, Steve Belmain also contributed to the following: (introductory section) Rodent outbreaks: an age-old issue with a modern appraisal, G.R. Singleton, S.R. Belmain, and P.R. Brown; and this chapter, The Chittagong story: studies on the ecology of rat floods and bamboo masting, S.R. Belmain, N. Chakma, N.J. Sarker, S.U. Sarker, S.K. Sarker, and N.Q. Kamal. [2] The nucleus of this book was a conference held at IRRI in October 2009, titled "Impacts of rodent outbreaks on food security in Asia."
Uncontrolled Keywords: rodent outbreaks, Chittagong, rat, bamboo masting, Bangladesh
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2011 15:40
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/5833

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