Cupressus chengiana var. chengiana 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Cupressaceae

Scientific Name: Cupressus chengiana var. chengiana
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Cheng Cypress
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B2ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-13
Assessor(s): Zhang, D & Christian, T.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.

The area of occupancy (AOO) is less than 2,000 km2 with less than 10 severely fragmented locations.  A continuing decline in the number of mature individuals is suspected due to illegal logging. Past reductions are known to have occurred but have not been quantified. Consequently this variety (and the species as this variety accounts for the vast majority of the specie's distribution and population) is assessed as Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1998 Vulnerable (V)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This variety is found in China: south Gansu, north and west Sichuan.
Countries occurrence:
China (Gansu, Sichuan)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 700
Number of Locations: 9
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1200
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2750
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is thought to be decreasing due to historic and recent over-exploitation.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in small, pure stands in some valleys, but more commonly on rocky slopes or cliffs associated with Koelreuteria paniculata, Morus mongolica, Campylotropis delavayi, Bauhinia faberi, Cotoneaster multiflorus, and C. gracilis; in non-acidic brown soils over granites, quartzites and limestones. Based on verified herbarium collections, the altitudinal range is extensive, ranging from ca. 1200 m to 2750 m a.s.l [Atlas of the Gymnosperms of China gives 900-2800m asl]. The climate is characterized by cold winters and cool to warm summers, with a distinct alternation of dry and rainy seasons; annual precipitation varies between 500-750(-1000 mm), with a 50-70% moisture deficit. There is no recorded difference in ecology for the two varieties.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 15-20

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Timber is valued for building and it has been exploited for its larger, more or less straight trunks for many centuries. On a small scale trees have been planted as individuals or in groups in villages.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This variety is known from ca. 9 different locations where natural populations are now mostly restricted to more inaccessible sites such as canyons and exposed cliffs. Overcutting is the main cause of its [historic] decline but the habitat is now protected (see conservation actions). Illegal logging may still be a problem in certain locations. Natural regeneration is thought to be poor.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This variety is planted in villages within its natural range in Sichuan and possibly in Gansu as well. Since 1998, all old-growth forest in China has been legally protected.

Citation: Zhang, D & Christian, T. 2013. Cupressus chengiana var. chengiana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T32478A2820376. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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