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Magnolia coriacea

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA MAGNOLIOPSIDA MAGNOLIALES MAGNOLIACEAE

Scientific Name: Magnolia coriacea
Species Authority: (Hung T.Chang & B.L.Chen) Figlar
Synonym(s):
Michelia coriacea Hung T.Chang & B.L.Chen
Michelia polyneura C.Y.Wu ex Y.W.Law & Y.F.Wu

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2007-04-20
Assessor(s): Global Tree Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Oldfield, S.
Justification:
Magnolia coriacea is restricted to southeast Yunnan and north Vietnam with a remaining forest area of 4,190 km2 in less than five locations. Within this area there were 300-500 scattered individuals recorded in 2005, which is likely to have reduced recently as they are mainly outside reserves; this needs to be confirmed by another field survey. Given the small area it is likely that there are one or two subpopulations, with the majority of the recorded individuals being in one subpopulation surveyed in China. It was assessed as Endangered in 1998 so it is likely, with more up to date, that this species has become Critically Endangered as the small number of remaining individuals reduces the chances of  natural regeneration. 
History:
1998 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Magnolia coriacea was thought to be endemic to China and only known from Xichou and Malipo counties in the southeast of Yunnan, between 1,200 and 1,700 m asl. However it has recently been recorded from north Vietnam. The potential forest distribution, used here as an estimate of the extent of occurrence, for the species is 4,190 km2.
Countries:
Native:
China (Yunnan); Viet Nam
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Global Trees Campaign field surveys in December 2005 estimated that there are about 300-500 scattered individuals remaining, mainly outside nature reserves. Most of the individuals are sprouted multi-trunks from the base of chopped trees. In Malipo County, big trees remain because local people protect them as symbols of good luck.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Magnolia coriacea is found in evergreen broad-leaved forests on limestone mountain slopes and grows to 10-20 metres in height. Flowers are produced from February to April and fruits from September to October.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no use or trade information available for this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The causes of decline of Magnolia coriacea have not yet been determined. Most of the remaining individuals are located outside nature reserves. Poor fruiting and low natural regeneration are also problems, and the reasons for this are current poorly understood. Abnormality in the reproductive development of this species might be the main cause of its extremely low seed set.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Raising awareness about Magnolia coriacea in local communities and government authorities is vital. Studies on its reproductive biology and the genetic and ecological factors causing poor fruiting and low natural regeneration are also urgently needed. M. coriacea exists in very few ex situ collections and should still be considered a priority for new ex situ collections. A new research project was established in 2008 in collaboration with Kunming Botanical Gardens to trial hand-pollination and germination techniques of resultant seeds. This project will aim to bring this species into cultivation in more botanical gardens, to better conserve the species. Very little research has been conducted about the ethnobotanical importance of this species. Therefore, additional research is needed to discover the role of this tree within its surrounding ecosystem and also its potential role in the human world. Future research may reveal that this species is of importance for medicine or other beneficial use. If it is lost then it would represent the continuing trend of species extinction, leading to further reduction in biodiversity at both a local and global scale. Raising awareness of the importance of conserving this species among both local communities and government authorities is also vital. This has been done so far by encouraging local people to actively participate in undertaking field surveys of existing populations.

Citation: Global Tree Specialist Group 2014. Magnolia coriacea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 October 2014.
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