Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Magnoliales Magnoliaceae

Scientific Name: Magnolia odora
Species Authority: (Chun) Figlar & Noot.
Common Name(s):
English Tsong's Tree
Michelia odora (Chun) Noot. & B.L.Chen
Tsoongiodendron odorum Chun
Taxonomic Notes: This species was previously known under the monotypic genus Tsoongiodendron and also as Michelia odora (Chun) Figlar and Noot. Michelia gravis Dandy ex Gagnep. is not a valid synonym.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable C1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-09-10
Assessor(s): Rivers, M.C. & Wheeler, L.
Reviewer(s): Oldfield, S.
Contributor(s): Khela, S.
Magnolia odora is classified as Vulnerable, although it is widespread in China, Viet Nam and Lao PDR. Mature trees are reportedly rare. Experts believe there are less than 10,000 individuals remaining. Population declines have occurred because of extensive logging and habitat clearance and and urbanisation over decades, a trend that is not likely to be reversed. Although the exact decline is not known, it is thought to be more than 10% over the last 30-45 years (three generations).
Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Magnolia odora is native to Lao PDR, Viet Nam and China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Hainan, Yunnan, Jiangzi, Guizhou and Hunan) at elevations up to 1,000 m asl.  It is found in lowland moist forest within an area extending from southern China to northern Viet Nam. The potential forest distribution is estimated at 99,604 km2.
Countries occurrence:
China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Yunnan); Lao People's Democratic Republic; Viet Nam
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 99604
Lower elevation limit (metres): 500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population declines have occurred within its area of occurrence and mature trees are reportedly rare indicating poor regeneration. It is estimated that there only 80 individual trees remaining in Hunan Province. Experts consider the population to be less than 10,000 mature individuals (FFI 2004). Population decline has been reported due to habitat destruction, competition, overcutting (Wang 2000) and weak self-generating ability (Zhao Congxiao pers. comm.). Although the exact decline is not known, it is thought to be more than 10% over the last 30-45 years (three generations).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 9999 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: Unknown Population severely fragmented: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Magnolia odora trees grow up to 25 metres tall and occur in lowland moist evergreen broad-leaved forests. This species likes warm, moist, mountain habitats in a monsoon climate and fertile or very fertile soils. It has a generation length of 10-15 years.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 10-15

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The wood is used for furniture, building, plywood and musical instruments (Chen and Nooteboom 1993). Flowers are used to embalm tea or perfume. It is also sometimes grown as an ornamental.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Extensive logging and habitat loss by land clearance are major threats to Magnolia odora. Competition (Wang 2000) and weak self-generating ability (Zhao Congxiao pers. comm.) are also a threat to its survival.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Nanyue Arboretum has been studying this species over the last 24 years. Areas of research have included its botanic and ecological characteristics, distribution, causes of threat and the development of techniques for propagation and cultivation through seeds and cuttings. Magnolia odora occurs in several ex situ collections of botanic gardens and arboreta worldwide. It is considered Vulnerable in the Red Data Book of Viet Nam (2007) and Red List of Chinese Plants (in ed.) where listed as Michelia odora.

Citation: Rivers, M.C. & Wheeler, L. 2015. Magnolia odora. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T34967A2857994. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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