Larix decidua var. polonica 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Larix decidua Mill. var. polonica (Racib. ex Wóycicki) Ostenf. & Syrach
Parent Species:
Larix polonica Racib. ex Wóycicki
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: In some Central European Flora’s Larix decidua var. carpatica is included with L. decidua var. polonica.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-07-29
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Luscombe, D

This variety is very limited in its distribution and the localities mentioned in the literature that could be trusted are few, probably only three to five. Some mapped occurrences by Ostenfeld and Syrach Larsen (1930) on the Wista near Warsaw and even beyond are more probably based on introduced larch trees than on natural subpopulations. The localities discussed and photographed are all near each other where “single specimens” are mapped and these are vouchered by herbarium collections. Its area of occupancy is certainly below the threshold for Endangered and likely much smaller. Trees were dying in the first quarter of the twentieth century, others were senescent, and there was little or no regeneration but much competition from other trees. Continuing decline puts this variety in the Endangered category.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to Poland (headwaters of Wista River, West Carpathians).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The naturally occurring larches in Poland (a country where this tree has been used in forestry extensively) appear to be in scattered remnants of ancient woodland, often restricted to one or a few mature to senescent individuals. The variety has also been found in the north-facing valleys of the West Carpathians, where a few stands remain that appear to do better (Vidakovic, 1991). In the ancient woodlands at lower elevations regeneration is poor and competition from other trees, mostly angiosperms, high. The population (here excluding larches south of the border/watershed with Poland, which are treated as Larix decidua var. carpatica) is apparently in decline.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This taxon occurs in ancient woodland remnants in the lowlands or hills, where it forms small stands or is reduced to solitary, often senescent or dying trees surrounded by birches, oaks and other trees. In the uplands further south it can form small stands where larch dominates. The ancient woodland remnants are changing through succession and were probably more open with past forms of woodland management and use, benefiting larch. This may be a phase that is now past return, unless artificially restored.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):100

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Undoubtedly this variety was logged in the past, but remaining trees are now mostly within small forest reserves.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Competition from surrounding angiosperms in the lowland stands within ancient woodland; possibly also genetic contamination from planted larches (mostly L. decidua var. decidua) nearby.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Most of the remaining trees and stands are within protected areas such as Świętokrzyski National Park.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Larix decidua var. polonica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T34161A2848871. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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