Picea jezoensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Picea jezoensis (Siebold & Zucc.) Carriére
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Yezo Spruce, Yeddo Spruce
Abies jezoensis Siebold & Zucc.
Abies microsperma Lindl.
Picea ajanensis Fisch.
Veitchia japonica Lindl.
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: Two subspecies and two varieties are recognized:
Picea jezoensis subsp. jezoensis var. jezoensis is the most widespread, occurring in northern Japan and in many parts of the Russian Far East. It is considered Least Concern.
Picea jezoensis subsp. jezoensis var. komarovii (V.N.Vassil) W.C.Cheng & L.K.Fu has a more restricted distribution in China (Jilin) and North Korea. This variety is regarded as Near Threatened due to a decline in area of occupancy as a result of logging.
Picea jezoensis subsp. hondoensis is restricted to central Honshu. In the mountain area in central Honshu, large subpopulations are continuous, but the subpopulation on the Kii Peninsula is scattered and decreasing. Despite limited decline this subspecies is regarded as Least Concern.
Varieties of subspecies are not included on the IUCN Red List.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-17
Assessor(s): Thomas, P., Zhang, D, Katsuki, T. & Rushforth, K.
Reviewer(s): Farjon, A. & Christian, T.
The vast range of this species, and the assessment as Least Concern for its most common and widespread subspecies/variety, determines the category of Least Concern for the species as a whole. This is despite the effects widespread logging and wildfires in many parts of its range.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Recorded from NE. China: coastal part of Jilin; Japan: Hokkaido, Honshu; North Korea; and the Russian Far East.
Countries occurrence:
China (Jilin); Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu); Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, European Russia, Kamchatka, Khabarovsk, Kuril Is., Magadan, Primoryi, Sakhalin)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):1
Upper elevation limit (metres):2700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Subpopulations are large with many extensive stands including large old trees.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Picea jezoensis occurs from near sea level to 2,700 m a.s.l. (subsp. hondoensis on Honshu: 1,100 m to 2,700 m), on various (podzolic) soils. The climate is cold temperate, moist or wet (1,000 mm to 2,500 mm annual precipitation on Honshu). It is usually mixed with other conifers, e.g. Abies spp., Larix spp., Pinus spp. (with P. pumila in the north of the range), and Tsuga diversifolia on Honshu, while Betula ermanii is the most common broad-leaved tree. On Hokkaido it occurs also in mixed coniferous-broad-leaved forests.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):50

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Yezo Spruce is an important timber tree in northern Japan and the maritime provinces of NE China, Korea, and Russia. In several forest types it is a co-dominant over large areas where it is logged with other conifers in the forest such as larch and fir. Its wood properties are similar to those of P. sitchensis, but this spruce does not attain the great dimensions of that species. Much of its wood is processed to pulp for the paper industry, but more specialized uses are furniture making and (in Japan) musical instruments. The Ainu string instrument tonkori has a body made from Yezo Spruce. Log houses are constructed with its wood in northern parts of its range, such as in Kamchatka where a small area of taiga is dominated by this species. This spruce is commonly used in afforestation especially in Japan and Korea; in other parts of the Northern hemisphere it is less often planted, either for forestry or for horticulture. In western Europe, provenances from Honshu are the only ones planted due to 'late' frost damage experienced with trees from more northern sources. Foresters have experimented with hybridization, e.g. with P. glauca and P. mariana and with its closest relative, P. sitchensis. Only a few cultivars are known, usually sporting yellow new foliage.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Logging is a problem in many parts of its range, especially when clear felling is followed by repeated burning that prevents regeneration of this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Citation: Thomas, P., Zhang, D, Katsuki, T. & Rushforth, K. 2013. Picea jezoensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42325A2972665. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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