Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Gnetopsida Ephedrales Ephedraceae

Scientific Name: Ephedra rituensis
Species Authority: Y.Yang, D.Z.Fu & G.H.Zhu
Taxonomic Notes: This species is similar to Ephedra intermedia Schrenk & C.A. Meyer in having bi- or tri-ovulate cones, and to E. Saxatilis Royle ex Florin in having strong and well-developed woody stems and branchlets (Yang et al. 2003).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-09-20
Assessor(s): Bell, A. & Bachman, S.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C. & Lutz, M.L.
This recently described species occurs across a large range in remote areas of Tibet. Population size and status is unknown, but its occurrence in remote and inaccessible areas indicates it is not under threat of human disturbance at present. Few recent collections have been made, but this may be a result of low survey effort in these regions. Ex situ collections are recommended.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Distributed across the Tibetan Plateau at altitudes ranging from 3,200 m to 4,600 m.
Countries occurrence:
China (Qinghai, Tibet [or Xizang], Xinjiang)
Lower elevation limit (metres): 3200
Upper elevation limit (metres): 4600
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population size is not known.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A shrub with strong, well-developed woody stems. Found growing in slightly divergent habitats including dry sandy river beaches, in crevices of rocks, sand dunes, or dried gravel river beaches. Possibly prefers moist conditions since most specimens were collected near a river or lake (Yang et al. 2003).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The stems of most members of this genus contain the alkaloid ephedrine and are valuable in the treatment of asthma and many other complaints of the respiratory system (Plants for a Future 2010).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats in this region.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Most specimens occurrences are from outside protected areas, but a single specimen collection is thought to have been made in the Quomolangma Nature Preserve. No collections are known to have been made for ex situ conservation.

Citation: Bell, A. & Bachman, S. 2011. Ephedra rituensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T201690A9166089. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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