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Cupressus arizonica var. nevadensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES CUPRESSACEAE

Scientific Name: Cupressus arizonica var. nevadensis
Species Authority: (Abrams) Little
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Piute Cypress
Synonym(s):
Cupressus nevadensis Abrams
Hesperocyparis nevadensis (Abrams) Bartel
Taxonomic Notes: Although long considered a variety of Cupressus arizonica, recently some researchers have recognized it again as a species and erected a new genus to accommodate this and the other American cypresses. The latter was the result of molecular studies and phylogenetic considerations, but most recent similar work appears to make the new genus unnecessary. There are virtually no morphological characters to support such a shift.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v)c(iv)+2ab(iii,v)c(iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-04-28
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.
Justification:
This variety meets criteria B1abc and 2abc for listing as Endangered, as destructive fires can wipe out entire subpopulations (“groves”) and thereby drastically reduce the number of mature individuals in the population (resulting in continuing declines and extreme fluctuations). If this should happen in the largest subpopulation, more than half of all mature trees might be destroyed. Regeneration usually follows fires, but the success of this will decline as fire frequency changes thus making the population subject to extreme fluctuations. Changes in fire frequencies (either too frequent or too infrequent) can work negatively on the successful regeneration to mature trees.
History:
1998 Vulnerable
1997 Rare (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This variety is found in the USA: California, in Kern, Los Angeles and Tulare counties, mostly in the Kern River drainage.
Countries:
Native:
United States (California)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is probably between 3,000 and 5,000 mature trees, but the number fluctuates following devastating fires.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This variety is found in mixed conifer/ broadleaved woodland with Pinus sabiniana, Quercus spp., Juniperus californica, Fremontia californica, Yucca whipplei, and in valley scrub-grassland. On dry hills, ridges and in ravines.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This variety is probably used in cultivation only locally and/or sporadically.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This variety has a limited distribution in ca. 12 subpopulations (groves) of different size in four localities, the largest being on the north slope of Bald Eagle Peak south of the little town of Bodfish, covering more than 200 ha with several thousand trees. These subpopulations occur both on private and public lands. Fire, cutting or clearing of 'brush' to extend pasture, and competition by shrubs and trees are some of the major factors that negatively influence the abundance of Cypresses. A major burn all but destroyed the Cannell Creek grove several years ago (J.A. Bartel e-mail comm. May 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Proper management of bush fires is by far the main factor to be addressed in the conservation of this variety. The main subpopulation is protected within the  310-acre Bodfish Piute Cypress Botanical Area managed by the Sequoia National Forest: the Bureau of Land Management manages the adjacent 865-acre parcel as the Piute Cypress Research Natural Area.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Cupressus arizonica var. nevadensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 December 2014.
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