Abies amabilis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Abies amabilis Douglas ex J.Forbes
Common Name(s):
English Pacific Silver Fir, Cascade Fir, Lovley Fir
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-03
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P., Luscombe, D & Stritch, L.

Abies amabilis has a very large extent of occurrence and occurs as many millions of mature individuals, despite historical reduction due to unsustainable logging in the past. It regenerates well after disturbance, including clear-felling and on other sites, e.g. after retreating glaciers. Fires and pathogens are a threat but their effect is mostly local. Therefore this species is assessed as Least Concern.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Recorded from the Pacific coast region of western North America, from extreme southeastern Alaska to northern California.
Countries occurrence:
Canada (British Columbia); United States (Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:2000
Lower elevation limit (metres):1
Upper elevation limit (metres):1830
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Locally dominant.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:No
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Abies amabilis occurs from sea level near the coast to 330 m a.s.l. in SE Alaska, in Oregon from 250 m to 1,830 m a.s.l. on the western slopes of the Cascade Range. It grows on different mountain soils, usually of glacial origin and acidic. The climate is extremely wet maritime, with 1,500 to 4,000 mm annual precipitation, much of it as snow. It is a constituent of the mixed coniferous forests with among other conifer tree species Tsuga heterophylla, Picea sitchensis, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Thuja plicata, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis, Abies grandis, A. magnifica; and with A. lasiocarpa and Tsuga mertensiana at higher elevations, but unlike the latter two not reaching the tree line.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No
Generation Length (years):50

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In the timber industry no distinction is made between this species and Western Hemlock as both conifers have similar wood properties. This wood is in use for various construction applications such as plywood, veneer, sub-flooring and sheathing. It contains little or no resin and is light in colour and easily worked. Together with Western Hemlock, substantial quantities of wood go to the kraft pulp industry. As an ornamental tree it is uncommon, performing only in cool and wet maritime climate such as prevails in the west of Scotland.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Historically, this species of fir was logged beyond sustainability levels, which has undoubtedly led to a decline in the area of occupancy especially where clear-felling has led to changes in land use or forest management not favouring regeneration of this species. It is difficult to quantify this loss, but it is unlikely to be substantial enough to place the species in a threatened category. Abies amabilis is sensitive to forest fires and easily killed by fire, as well as by wind throw during storms. An introduced insect (Adelges piceae) is known to have had devastating effects in parts of British Columbia and Washington, but some trees have shown resistance to it.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs within numerous protected areas throughout its range, where it is protected from logging, but very large stands remain outside these parks and wilderness preserves and can be logged.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Abies amabilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42271A2968657. . Downloaded on 15 August 2018.
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