Abies ziyuanensis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Abies ziyuanensis
Species Authority: L.K.Fu & S.L.Mo
Common Name(s):
English Ziyuan Fir
Abies dayuanensis Q.X.Liu
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: According to Fu et al. (1980), this species is closely related to Abies beshanzuensis M.H.Wu, another novelty described around that time. Farjon and Rushforth (1989) classified A. ziyuanensis in section Momi, subsection Holophyllae, as its close affinity to A. chensiensis seemed more likely on morphological grounds. Liguo et al. (1999) reduced A. ziyuanensis to a variety of A. beshanzuensis. If this taxonomy is accepted, A. ziyuanensis would no longer be considered an extremely rare species, but a variety of a rare, but more widespread species. A recent phylogenetic study (Xiang et al. 2009) based on nuclear DNA sequence data (ITS regions) sampled A. ziyuanensis amongst 48 species. In this study it appeared to be closely related to A. homolepis and also to A. chensiensis.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii); C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-12-13
Assessor(s): Farjon, A., Li, J.-y., Li, N., Li, Y., Carter, G., Katsuki, T., Liao, W., Luscombe, D, Qin, H.-n., Rao, L.-b., Rushforth, K., Yang, Y., Yu, S., Xiang, Q. & Zhang, D
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Christian, T.
The extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, it is known from four locations which are severely fragmented and there is continuing decline in the quality of the habitat due to a number of threats such as landslides and overgrazing by sheep and cattle. Furthermore, the entire population consist on fewer than 2,000 mature individuals and there are fewer than 250 individuals in the largest subpopulation. It is therefore listed as Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Critically Endangered (CR)
1998 Endangered (E)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Recorded from NE Guangxi (Rongshui Xian, Yuanbao Shan), and SW Hunan (Ziyuan Xian, Xingni, Chenbu).
Countries occurrence:
China (Guangxi, Hunan)
Number of Locations: 4
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1650
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1750
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The entire population is estimated to number fewer than 2,000 plants. In Guangxi there are two subpopulations – 13 trees in one and only one in the other. Mostly mature individuals.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 250-1970
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Abies ziyuanensis is a rare fir occurring on the highest mountains in Guangxi and on the border with Hunan, in a narrow belt between 1,650 m and 1,750 m asl. These mountains have a cool, very wet climate, with a mean annual temperature between 9.2º-12ºC, and a winter period of four to five months (November-March) in which the mean temperature is between -3º to -5º C (min. -10º). The weather is usually cloudy, with much fog, the annual precipitation is 2,100-2,400 mm and snow lasts from December through March. Abies ziyuanensis occurs, together with other conifers, scattered in a mixed forest dominated by deciduous broad-leaved trees. Above 1,700 m on Yuanbao Shan it is replaced by A. yuanbaoshanensis.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 30-35

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: No current uses are recorded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is only known from less than five localities, some in close proximity. As it occurs lower on the mountains, it was cut for timber in the past, but this has now mostly ceased. Present threats are landslides and overgrazing by sheep and cattle.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Some subpopulations occur in protected areas.

Citation: Farjon, A., Li, J.-y., Li, N., Li, Y., Carter, G., Katsuki, T., Liao, W., Luscombe, D, Qin, H.-n., Rao, L.-b., Rushforth, K., Yang, Y., Yu, S., Xiang, Q. & Zhang, D. 2011. Abies ziyuanensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T32320A9696874. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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