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Picea chihuahuana

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES PINACEAE

Scientific Name: Picea chihuahuana
Species Authority: Martínez
Common Name(s):
English Chihuahua Spruce

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-06-02
Assessor(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Perez de la Rosa, J.
Justification:
The area of occupancy of 275 km2 is well within the threshold for Endangered, subpopulations are severely fragmented and there is an ongoing decline due to fires, logging and grazing. On this basis alone Picea chihuahuana meets the B2 critieria for Endangered. The number of mature individuals is uncertain but could be less than 2,500.
History:
1998 Endangered
1997 Vulnerable (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Mexico: SW Chihuahua, SW Durango, S Nuevo León. The species spans a north–south range of 687 km, but stands are found in three clusters, each separated by about 300 km (Ledig et al. 2000)
Countries:
Native:
Mexico (Chihuahua, Durango, Nuevo León)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population of mature individuals may not exceed 2500 to 3000 mature trees with a total population including seedlings and saplinds estimated to be about 43000 in 38 stands (Jaramillo et al. 2006). Subpopulations are usually smaller than 350 trees, show significant levels of inbreeding and a lack of geneflow (Ledig el. 1997)
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Picea chihuahuana occurs in scattered relict populations on N-facing high mountain sides, often in canyons, at elevations between 2150 m and 3200(-3400) m a.s.l. It grows in poor, barren, but always moist mountain soils of alluvial origin, usually near permanent streams, but in the Sierra Madre Oriental also on calcareous lithosols. The climate is cool and moist, with annual precipitation between 800 mm and 1300 mm, mostly as summer showers, but in the western part of the range also in winter; snow only at the highest elevations. It is mainly associated with Pinus strobiformis, P. pseudostrobus, P. ayacahuite. Some other pines, Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca, Abies durangensis, A. vejarii (in Sierra Madre Oriental), Cupressus lindleyi (= C. lusitanica Mill.), and C. arizonica may also occur. Broad-leaved trees are e.g. Quercus castanea, Q. rugosa and Prunus serotina.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The rarity of this species renders it economically unimportant as a timber tree. However, its potential size in old-growth stands has made it a valuable resource of good timber when encountered by loggers, and trees have been logged to be processed in local sawmills. The species is still uncommon in cultivation.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The subpopulations of P. chihuahuana are widely scattered and very small, with a total of fewer than 100 to about 350 mature trees in each of the ca. 25 localities known. It is possible that other relict populations are hidden among the pine forests of the Sierra Madres of northern Mexico, yet its total area of occupancy (AOO) is unlikely to exceed 500 km² and is by all accounts much less than this (here calculated to be 275 km² with a 5x5 km grid); in addition it is severely fragmented. Unaware of its botanical significance, loggers have exploited this species where they have encountered it, reducing the number of mature individuals. In many stands natural regeneration has been observed to be poor or at best slow. Awareness of its significance for conservation of biodiversity is now increasing, but few subpopulations are as yet under any effective protection.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: More subpopulations or localities with this species are in need of being put into protected areas, as only a few are at present within such areas. According to the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (2010), Norma Oficial Mexicana, this species is in danger of extinction.

Citation: Thomas, P. & Farjon, A. 2013. Picea chihuahuana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 October 2014.
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