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Picea aurantiaca

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES PINACEAE

Scientific Name: Picea aurantiaca
Species Authority: Mast.
Common Name(s):
English Orange Spruce
Taxonomic Notes: Picea aurantiaca is closely related to P. asperata Mast. and P. retroflexa Mast. These taxa have been variously treated as independent species or varieties of P. asperata (Schmidt-Vogt 1977). In Flora of China, Vol. 4: 28 (1999) and in Higher Plants of China, Vol. 3: 37 (Fu et al., 2000) P. aurantiaca is treated as a variety of P. asperata, while other (Chinese) works (e.g. Fu and Jin 1992; Farjon 1990, 1998, 2001) have maintained the species rank, sometimes with P. retroflexa as a variety of P. aurantiaca in which case the populations in Jiuzhaigou would be included in the overall species assessment.  A re-examination of relevant collections and populations seems desirable; this should include work on DNA sequences, looking for markers which may help to distinguish species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-15
Assessor(s): Zhang, D, Li, N., Katsuki, T. & Rushforth, K.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
Justification:
The limited extent of occurrence and area of occupancy (EOO and AOO) estimated for this species and the inferred decline from logging operations and extensive deforestation in the area justify listing this species as Endangered.
History:
1998 Endangered
1997 Endangered (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: China: W Sichuan (W of Kangding, from Simaqiao to Xinyulingong and Zheduo Shan and Zhonggu).
Countries:
Native:
China (Sichuan)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Described from a limited region SW of Kangding where it occurs as scattered trees on steep mountain slopes on forest margins. Age of trees to 300 years.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Picea aurantiaca is a subalpine species, occurring between 2600 m and 3800 m a.s.l. (-4000 m according to Rehder and Wilson 1914). It is mostly found on calcareous soils. The climate is cold and precipitation varies from high (no figures recorded) in the lower elevations of the SE of its range to only 500-700 mm in the NW. It occurs in mixed coniferous forest, with e.g. Picea likiangensis var. rubescens and locally Abies squamata and Larix potaninii. Betula spp. are the common broad-leaved trees, while Pinus spp. occur mostly after disturbances and at the lower elevations.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: A timber tree of which no further details of its uses are recorded, presumably because it is not recognized as distinct from Picea asperata. It must be logged with this and other spruces and put to the same uses. It was introduced in England but is very rare in cultivation, growing particularly well on shallow soil over chalk.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The primary threat is historic logging and natural events, such as fire, to the remaining subpopulations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Government of China has recently imposed a ban on logging in western China. Increasing the population by protecting seedlings trees from grazing to allow an increase in the population would assist.

Citation: Zhang, D, Li, N., Katsuki, T. & Rushforth, K. 2013. Picea aurantiaca. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 November 2014.
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