Amentotaxus argotaenia 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Taxaceae

Scientific Name: Amentotaxus argotaenia (Hance) Pilg.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Catkin Yew
Podocarpus argotaenia Hance
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-16
Assessor(s): Hilton-Taylor, C., Yang, Y., Rushforth, K. & Liao, W.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
Amentotaxus argotaenia has undergone an estimated range wide reduction of 20-29%. It is therefore assessed as Near Threatened as it almost qualifies for listing in a threatened category under criterion A2cd. This assessment also applies to the typical variety (A. argotaenia var. argotaenia). Although A. argotaenia var. brevifolia has been assessed as Critically Endangered (an estimated extent of occurrence of <5 km2 and a continuing decline), its very narrow distribution and small population size do not change the assessment for the species as a whole.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Has a wide distribution range being recorded in China (Chongqing, Fujian, S Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hong Kong, W Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, NW Jiangxi, Central and SE Sichuan, SE Xizang [Tibet], S Zheijiang); Lao PDR; and northern Viet Nam.
Countries occurrence:
China (Chongqing, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Tibet [or Xizang]); Hong Kong; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):600
Upper elevation limit (metres):1100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Most subpopulations are small and isolated.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Amentotaxus argotaenia is widespread and occurs on limestone as well as sandstone, shale or granite, and in ravines, on steep slopes or cliffs, on summits and ridges and in mountain forests along shady stream banks. It usually occurs as a small tree or large shrub in the midcanopy layer. The altitudinal range is between 600 m and 1,100 m a.s.l. Associated trees and shrubs vary with the types of rock, mainly between limestone and other rocks. On limestone, it may grow with Pinus kwangtungensis, Nageia spp., Podocarpus neriifolius, P. pilgeri, P. macrophyllus and Taxus chinensis. On acidic rock types it is associated with Amentotaxus yunnanensis, Cephalotaxus spp. and broad-leaved trees and shrubs (angiosperms) like Magnolia, Quercus, and Rhododendron in montane evergreen or semi-deciduous forests.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):25

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The wood is used for tool making, furniture and wood turning (handicrafts). This species is in cultivation in China and was introduced to Europe from Hong Kong; it makes an attractive foliage shrub but only grows outside in warmer regions. This (and other) species is rare in gardens due to poor availability in the horticultural trade. In China it is used as a bonzai plant. The seeds have high oil content and are surrounded by a very striking red aril. Recent investigations have been undertaken to analyse its potential for anti-cancer drugs similar to those found in Taxus.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Despite the wide distribution of the type variety of Amentotaxus argotaenia, the species is in danger of extinction due to a similarly widespread reduction and deterioration of its habitat. In such cases, there is no direct evidence of decline but this is inferred from circumstantial evidence. When forests on more accessible mountain slopes have been and are being degraded or even removed to make way for agriculture, this tree will have gone with its habitat from those localities. An assessment of deforestation will amount to an inferred assessment of the status of a forest species. The status of this widely occurring forest species is also affected by slow growth rates, infrequent regeneration, poor seed dispersal and predation by rats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is known from several protected areas.

Citation: Hilton-Taylor, C., Yang, Y., Rushforth, K. & Liao, W. 2013. Amentotaxus argotaenia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42545A2986540. . Downloaded on 23 May 2018.
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