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Athrotaxis laxifolia

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES CUPRESSACEAE

Scientific Name: Athrotaxis laxifolia
Species Authority: Hook.
Taxonomic Notes: This genus was formerly included under the family Taxodiaceae. That family is now merged with Cupressaceae (see Farjon 2005).

In Tasmania this taxon is considered to be a hybrid between two other species. The evidence is inconclusive and if of hybrid origin, it is more likely to be a nothospecies than that each individual tree is an F1 only. In cultivation these trees breed true to type.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-06-07
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.
Contributor(s): Bachman, S., Luscombe, D, Reynolds, C. & Gardner, M.
Justification:
In 2000, this (notho)species was assessed as Vulnerable under criterion D1 with the global population estimated to be less than 1,000 mature individuals. No decline was indicated in that assessment. The area of occupancy (AOO), estimated using herbarium collection data and a grid of 2 km, is 40 km² which could be an underestimate as there are more localities not sampled for institutional herbaria ((Brown and Hill in Farjon and Page (1999). However, with the few trees present in each locality the 2 km grid (IUCN recommended standard) is likely to be too generous. The AOO is by all estimates much less than 500 km², the population is severely fragmented and when this species declines with its congeners, as it is reasonable to assume, it meets the B criterion for listing as Endangered (EN).
History:
2007 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1998 Lower Risk/near threatened (Oldfield et al. 1998)
1997 Rare (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to Tasmania (Australia) where it is more scattered than, but sympatric with, the other two Athrotaxis species. Its area of occupancy is estimated to be 40 km2, based on herbarium specimens and using the standard IUCN mapping method. Within this area, its actual area of occupancy is likely to be much less. It is known from more than 10 locations but the subpopulations are regarded as severely fragmented.
Countries:
Native:
Australia (Tasmania)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is rarely encountered and occurs only in association with one or other of the latter two species. Populations are usually very small and consist of only a few individuals each.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Grows in dwarfed montane forest and temperate rain forest, often associated with the other species of Athrotaxis.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species has been taken into cultivation more often than its apparent rarity in the wild suggests and can be seen in several arboreta.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Because it occurs usually as solitary individuals, rarely in small groups, and generally with or near one or both of the other species A. cupressoides and A. selaginoides, it is at risk of extinction mainly because of its low number of individuals overall. Nearly all of these are now in reserves, where increasing fire frequency is the main threat, it would also be impacted by invasive pathogens like Phytophthora and browsing by introduced rabbits.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Nearly all known individuals are now in protected areas, where management is directed towards conservation of this and other species.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Athrotaxis laxifolia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 October 2014.
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