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Picea maximowiczii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES PINACEAE

Scientific Name: Picea maximowiczii
Species Authority: Regel ex. Mast.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Maximowicz's Spruce, Japanese Bush Spruce

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2acde; B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-14
Assessor(s): Katsuki, T. & Luscombe, D
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
Justification:
The assessment of the entire species follows that of var. maximowiczii which has been assessed as Endangered following recent over-exploitation and the conversion of Picea forests to plantation forests planted with larch (Larix kaempferi). There has been a population eduction of more than 50% and regeneration is poor and mature trees are declining. There are some doubts about the taxonomic distinction of var. senanensis but even if it is distinct, its population represents only a very small part of the whole.
History:
1998 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Japan: Honshu (Chichibu, Yatsugatake, Akaishi). The two varieties (maximowiczii and senanensis) are confined to small and scattered populations on Fuji-San and Yatsugatake Mountains.
Countries:
Native:
Japan (Honshu)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Subpopulations are small and severely fragmented.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Picea maximowiczii is a rare species of the high mountains in central Honshu, where it occurs at elevations between 1,100 m and 2,000 m a.s.l. The soils are derived from volcanic rock and usually podzolic. The climate is moist, with cool summers and cold winters, the annual precipitation ranges between 1,000 mm and 2,000 mm. It occurs in small, scattered groups, usually associated with Juniperus rigida, sometimes with Pinus densiflora and various broad-leaved trees, mostly in very open, grassy terrain. The variety senanensis has been found with Picea alcoquiana and P. koyamae (Hayashi 1969 cited in Schmidt-Vogt 1977).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This small bushy tree has little value for timber and is now protected from further exploitation. In Japan it is commonly planted in gardens, especially in Buddhist temple grounds, where it is valued for its dense habit and slow growth; these traits also make it a good but uncommon species for bonsai growing. Introductions to Europe and North America have mainly been of the var. senanensis, or perhaps involved hybrids between the two varieties. In European horticulture it is not a specially valued spruce and is mainly confined to arboreta and similar collections of planted trees. No cultivars are known of this rare species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Despite its bushy habit (or is that a result?) this spruce has been over-exploited and present populations are scattered and small. It is a slow grower and regeneration is often hampered by changes of land use that have caused habitat degeneration. Most trees are now situated in State Forests and would therefore enjoy some measure of protection.
Overexploitation of the tree and the habitat has occurred in the past. Much of the habitat remains degraded and regeneration is poor.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs mainly within a State Forest. Restoration programmes are needed.

Citation: Katsuki, T. & Luscombe, D 2013. Picea maximowiczii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 September 2014.
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