Asparagus kiusianus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Asparagales Asparagaceae

Scientific Name: Asparagus kiusianus Makino
Taxonomic Source(s): The Plant List. 2012. The Plant List. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: Asparagus kiusianus Makino is a secondary genetic relative of cultivated Asparagus (A. officinalis L.) (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2013).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): Rhodes, L. & Maxted, N.
Reviewer(s): Fielder, H.
In concurrence with the Japanese regional assessment and the Plant Red List of East Asia, this species is globally assessed as Endangered B1ab(iii) due to its limited estimated extent of occurrence (3,000–5,000 km2), a limited number of locations (3–5), and continuing decline in the quality of coastal habitats in which this species is likely to be found. 

No evidence of existing in situ or ex situ conservation could be found, so informed collection and duplication of germplasm material in genebanks is a priority for this species, alongside a gap analysis to determine appropriate sites in which to establish active in situ management and monitoring of this species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to maritime habitats on the coast of north Kyushu (Saga prefecture) and southern Honshu (Yamaguchi prefecture), Japan (Ohwi 1965, Ministry of the Environment 2007, Ito et al. 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Japan (Honshu, Kyushu)
Additional data:
Number of Locations:3-5
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is restricted to maritime habitats in only two prefectures of Japan (Yamaguchi and Saga). It is inferred from the Japanese Red List entry (Ministry of the Environment 2007) that there are three to five subpopulations of this species. This suggests that, due to the threats facing coastal habitats, this species must only occur in a maximum of five locations. Continuing decline is also inferred as coastal habitat in Japan is suspected to be suffering degradation due to the impact of humans.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:UnknownPopulation severely fragmented:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:UnknownAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is restricted to maritime habitats on the coast of northern Kyushu (Saga prefecture) and southern Honshu (Yamaguchi prefecture) (Ohwi 1965, Ministry of the Environment 2007, Ito et al. 2011). This is similar to the typical habitat of A. maritimus, a salt tolerant species that grows on sandy soils on the Mediterranean coast (Ito et al. 2011).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is a secondary genetic relative of cultivated Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2013) and so it has the potential for use as a gene donor for crop improvement, particularly for traits conferring salt tolerance (Ito et al. 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Coastal regions of Japan are threatened by development, urbanization and agricultural expansion (Conservation International 2013). Mukai (2010) states that over 50% of Japan's natural coastal habitat has been replaced by artificial features such as concrete blocks and walls since the 1960's. This constitutes a plausible threat to Asparagus kiusianus given its already restricted distribution, however the scope and severity of these threats on the coastlines of Kyushu and Honshu remain unknown.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The genus Asparagus is included in Annex 1 of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), which aims to guarantee sustainable agriculture and food security through the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, as well as to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of their use (FAO, 2009).

This species is not found in the International Minor Leafy Vegetables Database (ECPGR, 2007–2010), the National Plant Germplasm System in the USA (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2014), the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV Data Portal 2013) or the Botanical Garden Conservation International Plant Search (BGCI 2013). Collection of germplasm material for ex situ conservation is a priority for this species.

This species in included in the Plant Red List of East Asia as an Endangered species in Japan (Kokubugata and Kato 2008–2013, Kato and Ebihara 2011) and is included on the Japanese Red Data List (Ministry of the Environment 2007).

Citation: Rhodes, L. & Maxted, N. 2016. Asparagus kiusianus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T20681005A20694906. . Downloaded on 19 August 2018.
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