Sorbus eminens 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Rosales Rosaceae

Scientific Name: Sorbus eminens E.F.Warb.
Common Name(s):
English Round-leaved Whitebeam
Sorbus subenimens P.D.Sell
Taxonomic Source(s): The Plant List. 2016. The Plant List. Version 1.1. RBG Kew. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: The species is an apomictic hybrid. Studies show that S. eminens is a a tetraploid derived from S. aria and S. porrigentiformis.

We follow a more restricted view than originally described by Warburg (1957), as set out in Rich et al. (2010).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2015-07-30
Assessor(s): Rivers, M.C. & Beech, E.
Reviewer(s): Rich, T.C.G., Meyer, N. & Allen, D.J.
Contributor(s): Wigginton, M.J. & Rich, T.C.G.
The species is endemic to southern Wales and western England. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is 1,300 km2, and the area of occupancy (AOO) is 124 km2. The main threats are goat grazing, infrastructure works and closure of woodland canopy. It has a population size of 575 individuals, of which 250-300 are considered mature individuals, and the species therefore qualifies for as Vulnerable (VU D1). No specific conservation actions are considered necessary at present, but a comprehensive survey for this species is required.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to western England and southern Wales. It is found in the Wye Valley, Cheddar Gorge, the Avon Gorge, as well as other locations in Somerset and Gloucestershire. It is also found in one location in Warwickshire (Rich et al. 2010), however this is in a plantation woodland, where it has probably been planted and is treated as an introduction. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is 1,300 km2, and the area of occupancy (AOO) is 124 km2. There are at least 15 locations (T. Rich pers. comm. 2016).
Countries occurrence:
United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:124Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1300-5342,1334
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:15
Lower elevation limit (metres):1
Upper elevation limit (metres):145
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is thought that the total population is between 575 individuals (of which around half are considered mature) but the population has not been systematically surveyed (Rich et al. 2010). Whilst three small sub-populations are known to have been lost (Itton, Piercefield, Cardiff), the population is overall considered stable (T. Rich pers. comm. 2016).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:250-300
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:No
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:A shrub or small tree of at least 10-15 m tall, Sorbus eminens is found on limestone soils in open woodland or on rocks, cliff and quarries (Rich et al. 2010). Trees found in the woods are often tall and multi-stemmed due to coppicing. Fruiting is abundant, but flowering does not occur every year. It is thought that seeds may be dispersed by small mammals and birds (Rich et al. 2010).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no use known.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): At the Cheddar Gorge location, goat grazing is the primary threat. In the Avon Gorge, the railway line upgrading will result in the removal of some trees, whilst other trees are being removed illegally along the towpath. More generally, long-term canopy closure as a result of succession and the lack of habitat management will impact some populations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many subpopulations are within SSSIs and receive some degree of protection. It is considered Endangered in The vascular plant Red Data List for Great Britain (Cheffings and Farrell 2005). It is listed as Vulnerable in A Vascular Plant Red List for England (Stroh et al. 2014). It is found in several ex situ collections in botanic gardens (BGCI 2015) and is recorded as present in an ex situ seed bank collection (ENSCO 2015). It is listed as a UK BAP priority vascular plant species (JNCC 2010).

Further information on the population trends and threats would be beneficial and the plant has still not been fully surveyed.

Citation: Rivers, M.C. & Beech, E. 2017. Sorbus eminens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T34728A80736113. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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