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Chamaecyparis thyoides

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES CUPRESSACEAE

Scientific Name: Chamaecyparis thyoides
Species Authority: (L.) Britten, Sterns & Poggenb.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Atlantic White Cedar, Atlantic White Cypress, White Cypress
Synonym(s):
Cupressus thyoides L.
Taxonomic Notes: Variety henryae (HH.L.Li) Little, although listed as Least Concern is assessed separately because it was previously assessed as Lower Risk/near threatened. The typical variety is not assessed separately because the information and its Least Concern listing would be virtually identical to that for the species as a whole.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-09-13
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.
Justification:

Exploitation in the past has impacted this species primarily in terms of numbers of mature trees, but this situation has reversed in most places and the species is likely to recover. It has a very wide range and is present in most of its swamp forest habitat, including within many reserves. As a result it is assessed as Least Concern.

The nominate variety is not assessed separately as it is also Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in east and southeast USA, from Maine south to N Florida, and west to S Mississippi.
Countries:
Native:
United States (Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is stable and expanding in numbers in some places.
Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Chamaecyparis thyoides usually grows in more or less pure stands in bogs and swamps and along streamside corridors of lowland rivers surrounded by other tree species, which form the main forest types of the region where it occurs (occurs between sea level and 450 m asl). Due to its great latitudinal range it is associated with different species from north to south. The majority of these are angiosperms, which also occupy the greater total area, associated conifers are mainly Pinus spp. and Taxodium distichum. The soil types under stands of C. thyoides are acid organic ('muck') or sandy, with the water table reaching the surface and prolonged seasonal periods of inundation. It avoids salinity although it is known to border tidal marshes in New Jersey. It is likely that recurring fire would historically have been the disturbance agent preventing Acer rubrum from eventually replacing C. thyoides in the succession. Apart from the species composition of the vegetation due to latitude, the ecology of the two varieties in this species is similar.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The wood of this species is light, decay resistant, and is still widely used in the SE USA for many purposes involving outdoor utilities. Trees are occasionally cultivated and sold as ornamentals but there is no substantial horticultural trade. A limited number of cultivars is known and most of the plants in cultivation belong to one of these. Among these are some dwarf forms and one of these, 'Andelyensis' has incorrectly been described as a botanical variety by the German horticultural botanist Camillo Karl Schneider. Forms originating in cultivation are not botanical varieties (or species) and under the rules of horticultural nomenclature are now to be given non-latinized cultivar names.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has been heavily exploited for its timber and 'total volume' is considered to have been much reduced during the 20th century (Little and Garrett in Burns and Honkala 1990). However, the species is still very widespread (though scattered) and common in most swamp forests on the Atlantic Coastal Plain and Mexican Gulf coast in Florida and Alabama, and is likely to have recovered in numbers if not yet in 'volume'.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is present in many protected areas throughout its range.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Chamaecyparis thyoides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 November 2014.
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