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Libocedrus bidwillii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES CUPRESSACEAE

Scientific Name: Libocedrus bidwillii
Species Authority: Hook.f.
Common Name(s):
English Cedar

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-01-27
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.
Justification:
The area of occupancy (AOO) based on a comprehensive distribution map incorporating specimen data of all three major New Zealand herbaria, is estimated to be 1,325 km2 which is within the threshold for Vulnerable. There has certainly been historical reduction but this has not been quantified. The reduction has now ceased due to legislation that protects native forest stands. The species is slow growing and very long lived, and sensitive to forest fires. Near Threatened seems therefore the most reasonable category as it almost qualifies as threatened under criterion B2ab(v).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to New Zealand: North Island, South Island.
Countries:
Native:
New Zealand (North Is., South Is.)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The distribution of this species on the two main islands of New Zealand is divided in disjunct stands in isolated mountains, as well as more or less contiguous in some areas. This is partly the natural situation, and partly the result of historical deforestation.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Libocedrus bidwillii is a co-dominant or canopy emergent tree in montane-subalpine evergreen rainforests of the mixed angiosperm-conifer class, growing together with the podocarps Dacrydium cupressinum (at lower altitudes), Halocarpus biformis, Phyllocladus trichomanoides var. alpinus, and Podocarpus cunninghamii. Frequent angiosperm trees are Metrosideros umbellata, Nothofagus solandri, Quintinia acutifolia and Weinmannia racemosa. Libocedrus bidwillii is a good example of a long-lived conifer (max. 800-1,000 years) dependent for regeneration on stand-replacing episodal disturbances. The altitudinal range is from 250 m to 1,370 m a.s.l. The soil in these forests has a high organic content and is usually saturated with water. In many places at higher altitudes the forest is confined to drainage systems, surrounded by peaty moorland dominated by tussock-forming sedges. The climate is superhumid, with high rainfall and frequent fog, summers are short and cool.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The reddish wood of this species is not very valuable for timber as it splits easily. As an ornamental tree it has been planted more often than Libocedrus plumosa, the lowland species of New Zealand, but it remains restricted to arboreta and other tree collections in large gardens.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Historical deforestation has presumably had a negative impact on the area of occupancy of this species, but since it is impossible to calculate the percentage of decline, we cannot quantify this.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Nearly all remaining natural 'old-growth' stands are now protected. Many of these occur in montane forests and are presumably of similar extent as before European settlement.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Libocedrus bidwillii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 July 2014.
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