Larix decidua


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Larix decidua
Species Authority: Mill.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name/s:
English European Larch
French Mélèze d'Europe
Taxonomic Notes: Three varieties are recognized: the typical variety (var. decidua) from the Alps, West Carpathians, Slovenian Mts, var. carpatica Domin from central and eastern Europe and var. polonica (Racib. ex Wóycicki) Ostenf. & Syrach from Poland. This last variety has been assessed separately as Endangered while the other two are both Least Concern and are not not assessed separately.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-08-02
Assessor/s: Farjon, A.
Reviewer/s: Thomas, P. & Luscombe, D

Widespread and common to abundant in much of its range; the European Larch is in fact expanding (upwards) with the abandonment of alpine cattle grazing in many parts of high altitude Europe. Larix decidua var polonica has been assessed separately as it is  Endangered. As this variety represents only a very small part of the global population and range, that assessment does not effect the overall assessment of the species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Occurs across Europe: Alps, Carpathians, Slovenian Mts., S Poland.
Austria; Czech Republic; France; Germany; Italy; Liechtenstein; Poland; Romania; Switzerland; Ukraine
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The overall population is thought to be stable.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Larix decidua occurs in the high mountains of central Europe, at altitudes between (600-)1,000-2,200( 2,500) m a.s.l., in the Central Alps it usually forms the tree limit. The soils are neutral to acidic, mostly on granitic rock. The climate has cool, moist summers and cold, snowy winters, but annual precipitation rarely exceeds 1,000 mm. Pure stands are uncommon, more often it is mixed with Pinus cembra in the Alps, below 1800 m also with Picea abies.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No range wide threats have been identified for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Larix decidua is present in numerous protected areas throughout its range.
Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Larix decidua. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 19 April 2014.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please fill in the feedback form so that we can correct or extend the information provided