Nothofagus alessandrii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fagales Nothofagaceae

Scientific Name: Nothofagus alessandrii Espinosa
Common Name(s):
Spanish Ruil
Fuscospora alessandri (Espinosa) Heenan & Smissen
Nothofagus alessandri Espinosa [orth. error]

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-04-15
Assessor(s): Barstow, M., Echeverría, C., Baldwin, H. & Rivers, M.C.
Reviewer(s): Oldfield, S.
Contributor(s): Thomas, P., Hechenleitner, P. & Gardner, M.
Nothofagus alessandrii is a large tree endemic to Chile in the Coastal Cordillera of Region VII. It has a restricted area of occupancy (AOO) of 116 km2 and an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 755 km2. The population is thought to be fragmented, small and remnant of a much larger population. The species has experienced historical population decline due to habitat loss and over exploitation. These still threaten the species but to a lesser degree. The main threat to the species at present are forest fires which have resulted in recent decline in species AOO and caused fluctuation in the number of mature individuals. The species is globally assessed as Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Chile. It has a very restricted and fragmented distribution along 100 km of the Coastal Cordillera of Region VII (Provinces Talca, 35º05’ S to Cauquenes, 35º50’ S) where it has an altitudinal range of between 100 and 450 m asl (CONAMA 2015). Plantation of pines has reduced the species AOO by 19% from 2016–2017 and the species has an estimated AOO of 116 km2. The species EOO has decline by 16% for the same reasons and now estimated EOO is only 755 km2 (C. Echeverría pers. comm. 2017).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:116Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:755
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Lower elevation limit (metres):100
Upper elevation limit (metres):450
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is considered rare, it has a small native range and is scattered within mixed forests. Remaining individuals are found in a mosaic of secondary forests and Pinus plantations. The AOO is estimated to have declined by 8.15% per year between 1981 and 1998, or 60% loss in total. Due to forest fire the species AOO has declined by a further 19% and EOO has decline by 16% prior to 2017 (C. Echeverría pers. comm. 2017). Also due to the threat of forest fire we can also infer that there are fluctuations in the number of mature individuals of the population. The population is fragmented and remnant of a much larger population. In 1998 it was estimated that remnant forest composed of  over 150 fragments in nine localities with 80% of these fragments being between 0.01–0.02 km2. More than 50% of fragments are close to 20 m apart and less than 10% of them are 100 m apart or more (Donoso et al. 1981, Bustamante and Castor 1998, CONAMA 2009). Overall the population is in decline.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:YesPopulation severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Nothofagus alessandrii is a large tree. It can grow to between 25 and 30 m tall but these are now rarely found as the tree only occurs in secondary growth forests (Donoso 1981, CONAMA 2009). The species occurs in the bosque maulino forest type or coastal bosque hualo within the Roble-Hualo in mixed forests on coastal marine terraces. The species often forms associations with Nothofagus obliqua and N. glauca in the Chilean Mediterranean/temperate regions. It also occurs most frequently on south, southwest and southeast aspects. The species is shade intolerant and susceptible to forest fire. Pollination and seed dispersal is by the wind (Bustamante and Castor 1998). The species habitat is fragmented and in decline in area, extent and quality. This is due to fires, the clear cutting of forests and the establishment of Pinus radiata plantations.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):50-600

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is used for its timber, which is considered of high quality and is highly desirable (Veblen 1996). It can also be harvested for fuel wood. Grazing of livestock within these forests also occurs (Donso 1981).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is severely threatened by anthropogenic development of the species habitat resulting in major loss of species habitat. Clear cutting of the forests and forest clearance for shifting agriculture has reduced the species habitat area over many decades. Deforestation for the  establishment of non native tree plantations, most often Pinus radiata, has the left the population fragmented. Fragmentation puts the species at risk of reduced reproductive output as it can limit pollination (Bustamante and Castor 1998) and lead to inbreeding depression. Forest proximity to Pinus plantations also means they are becoming increasingly invaded by the species and it is predicted that even if habitat clearance stops N. alessandrii would continue to decline due to competition from invasives. The species has historically been over exploited for its timber and as a fuel wood but this threat now occurs at a reduced scale. The greatest threat to the species at present is from anthropogenic caused forest fires which lead to rapid declines in species range and population.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Seven percent of the species' total range is found within protected areas (CONAMA 2009). There are some regeneration efforts in progress but the state of these is not known. As seed is rarely produced by trees within the Reserve, seed has been collected from outside of the local area. (Bustamante and Castor 1998). The species is assessed as 'in Peril and Rare' in the Red List of Chilean Terrestrial Flora (CONAMA 2009). It is essential that more of this species range is bought under protection and plantation establishment within the species' range ceases. A genetic survey of the species is should be undertaken to assess remaining diversity. An assessment of overall population size should occur and the extent of decline should also be estimated. Action also needs to be taken to reduce invasion of secondary forests by Pinus. This species is reported from 17 ex situ collections (BGCI 2017).

Citation: Barstow, M., Echeverría, C., Baldwin, H. & Rivers, M.C. 2017. Nothofagus alessandrii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T32033A2808995. . Downloaded on 25 February 2018.
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