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Juniperus indica var. indica

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES CUPRESSACEAE

Scientific Name: Juniperus indica var. indica
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Black Juniper
Synonym(s):
Juniperus wallichiana Hook.f. & Thomson ex E.Brandis

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-01-25
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Adams, R & Thomas, P.
Justification:
With a very large extent of occurrence and occurring at high altitudes in the Himalayas, this variety is unlikely to become threatened with extinction in the near future. Degradation in Nepal from incense clipping has been observed, but it is unclear how this affects the global population.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Himalaya, E into high mountains of China. Bhutan; China: W Sichuan, S Xizang  [Tibet], NW Yunnan; India: Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir; Nepal; N Pakistan; Sikkim.
Countries:
Native:
Bhutan; China (Sichuan, Tibet [or Xizang], Yunnan); India; Nepal; Pakistan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Some subpopulations in Nepal may be in decline due to harvesting for incense. Locally common in at least parts of its range.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: From upper montane coniferous forest and woodland in pure stands, or with e.g. Abies, Pinus, Cupressus torulosa, or in Betula utilis subalpine woodland, to alpine heath and grassland and into the bare moraines and scree of the niveous zone. The altitudinal range is from 3,600 m to 4,800 m a.s.l. As an understorey shrub or tree in coniferous forest it is often accompanied by J. squamata, Rhododendron spp., Rosa and Cotoneaster. Above the tree line it can form juniper-rhododendron thickets, grow in Kobresia-Stipa turf with dwarfed alpine shrubs (e.g. Rhododendron, Salix, Juniperus squamata), or occur scattered on moraines and consolidated scree slopes of granite or gneiss or other metamorphic acidic rock, at the highest altitudes exclusively on S-facing slopes. The climate is high montane to alpine with a pronounced monsoon phase delivering heavy precipitation (much as snow) from May to October.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In the Himalayas, where Black Juniper is common and widespread, its wood is used for fuel and branches and foliage are burned as incense in Buddhist temples.
Black Juniper is probably rare in cultivation under either J. wallichiana or J. pseudosabina; the first being a synonym of J. indica and the latter a closely related species from Central Asia. The recently discovered variety J. indica var. caespitosa is a decumbent form suitable as ground cover in rock gardens, but not yet in cultivation. The growth habit of J. indica var. indica is erect, but varies from shrub to small tree. Both forms are commendable for horticulture, but slow growing.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No range wide threats are known although overgrazing may be a problem in some areas. In Nepal subpopulations are fragmented and exploited for incense and firewood. This also occurs in other parts of its range but the impact is uncertain.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in protected areas across its range, e.g. Sagarmatha National Park and Quomolangma, Shey-Phoksundo, Annapurna, Sagarmatha and Jigme Dorji Reserves.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Juniperus indica var. indica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 August 2014.
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