Picea martinezii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Picea martinezii T.F.Patt.
Common Name(s):
English Martinez's Spruce
Picea chihuahuana Martínez var. martinezii (T.F.Patt.) Eckenwalder
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: This species has been treated as a synonym of P. chihuahuana.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v); C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-06-02
Assessor(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Perez de la Rosa, J. & Rushforth, K.
The extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) are 565 km2 and 16 km2 respectively. There are two locations and an ongoing decline due to logging and fire. The total number of mature individuals is less than 800 and a continuing decline of at least 20% is likely within the next two generations. On this basis Picea martinezii is assessed as Endangered under the B1,  B2 and C1 criteria.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Mexico: Nuevo León (Sierra Madre Oriental: Montemorelos, Aramberri). Known from six stands, all less than 150 km  from each other. The extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are within the thresholds for Endangered and there are two locations.
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (Nuevo León)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:16Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:565
Number of Locations:2
Lower elevation limit (metres):2155
Upper elevation limit (metres):2990
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The most recent census estimates that the total number of mature individuals does not exceed 800. The main (southern) stand at El Butano has an estimated 350 trees.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:800Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:One locality with this species (near La Trinidad, Montemorelos) is described as on slopes of coarse limestone talus in a sheltered canyon at 2,100-2,200 m a.s.l. in montane mixed coniferous-deciduous broad-leaved forest. Picea martinezii is here associated with Abies vejarii, Pinus spp., Taxus globosa, and angiosperm broad-leaved trees such as Quercus spp., Tilia, Ostrya, Cornus, Ilex, Juglans, and Crataegus. There is no surface water, but frequent rain and fog provide ample moisture to sustain a lush mesophytic forest type.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):50

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species has been logged for its timber by local sawmills and the wood has been used for construction purposes and carpentry. This use is now being discouraged for conservation reasons. It has been introduced to arboreta in Europe, Australia (Tasmania) and New Zealand; trees that still survive from this effort can be considered extremely rare. Some may be misidentified as Picea chihuahuana, which has more glaucous, shorter leaves and entire, not denticulate seed scales.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This extremely rare species is restricted to two subpopulations about 150 km apart. The largest sub-population has suffered some logging in recent years from local lumber companies; the smallest population has fewer than 15 mature trees. Poor cone set and low seed viability has been noted in the two main stands. A potential threat is forest fires, which could easily destroy the smallest population in one event. Climate change is also a potential threat as subpopulations are small and occur within restricted habitats that present little opportunity for migration. The genus Picea is at or near its southernmost limit in Mexico (only in Taiwan does it extend a little further south) and species such as Picea martinezii are probably Pleistocene relicts that were more widespread during cooler climatic periods.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: According to the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Mexico) (2010) this species is in danger of extinction. Awareness of the conservation issue is growing and local foresters are monitoring the situation.  Protection against wildfire and logging is essential. Strategies to improve seed production within stands could involve thinning some of the associated pines and other trees. Enrichment planting is also recommended provided that the young trees can be protected and competition with other species controlled. Ex situ conservation in the form of seed banking is also recommended: in the 1980s seed was collected and distributed to several arboreta and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Rushforth 1986) but more concerted efforts are required.

Citation: Thomas, P. & Farjon, A. 2013. Picea martinezii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T32996A2829306. . Downloaded on 24 October 2017.
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