Fagus orientalis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Fagales Fagaceae

Scientific Name: Fagus orientalis Lipsky
Regional Assessments:
Fagus sylvatica L. subsp. orientalis (Lipsky) Greuter & Burdet
Taxonomic Source(s): The Plant List. 2013. The Plant List Version 1.1. Available at: (Accessed: July 2016).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-01-12
Assessor(s): Rivers, M.C. & Barstow, M.
Reviewer(s): Oldfield, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Rivers, M.C.

This tree is found across South Eastern Europe, West Asia and the Caucasus. It is here assessed as Least Concern as the species has a wide native range and overall population is assumed to be large. Although the species is threatened in some countries within its range it is unlikely the population loss would be so severe to move the species into a threatened category. It is recommended that information on threats to the species and their scale of impact is collected to generate an accurate conservation assessment for F. orientalis, especially within its Asian Range.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Fagus orientalis is found in South-Eastern Europe in Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey and Crimea. Outside Europe it is found in Russia, Iran and the Caucasus (WCSP 2016, Euro+Med 2017). The species has an estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1,833,106 km2.
Countries occurrence:
Armenia (Armenia); Azerbaijan; Bulgaria; Georgia; Greece; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Russian Federation; Turkey (Turkey-in-Europe); Ukraine (Krym)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):200
Upper elevation limit (metres):2200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is limited population documentation for this species. It is thought to form forests in Crimea and to be relatively common in Bulgaria. In Turkey two distinct sub-populations exist; one following the coastline of the Black Sea and one much smaller in the province of Southern Anatolia on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea (Yilmaz 2010). The latter sub-population is isolated and covers only 4 km2.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Fagus orientalis is a large deciduous tree that is tolerant of shade. It occupies discrete locations within its countries of occurrence. It can be found on mountain sides (in the Caucasus) or along coastlines (in Turkey and Iran). It is wind pollinated (Kandemir and Kaya 2009) and it occurs in both beech and mixed forests, hence their is often hybridization with Fagus sylvatica. It is able to occur on drier and warmer sites then F. sylvatica leading to a more southerly range; it is also more greatly effected by frost. Many of the 'relic' F. orientalis forests in the Mediterranean were formed due to coppicing and sprouting not through sexual reproduction.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The wood of this species is used for a variety of purposes. It is heavy, hard and durable it is suitable for steam bending. It is also used for fuel and to make furniture, flooring veneer, railway tiles and paper (Kandemir and Kaya 2009). It is the most important commercial species in Iran.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Phytophthora omnivora attacks Fagus orientalis seedlings, first causing browning and wilting but ultimately resulting in its death. Beech bark disease and bleeding canker are caused by other fungus' in the Phytophthora genus. In the past F. orientalis forests have been cleared for agriculture and to make way for plantations of conifers which has resulted in the fragmentation of its forests (Kandemir and Kaya 2009). These threats are known to occur within Europe but the extent to which they effect populations in west Asia and the Caucasus are not known. Species in Iran are likely to be effected by development and lack of sustainable forestry practices as F. orientalis has been cited to be the country's most commercially important tree species.
Turkey's Southern population is predicted to be effected by climate change. Increasing temperatures increase the chance of drought in the area which causes damage to F. orientalis and causes it to shed its leaves early. There is also concern of a lack of genetic diversity in isolated populations which have reproduced through sprouting. Trees which have grown from sprouting are also weaker individuals, often with irregular, thin stems grown due to high competition for light in un-coppiced forests (Yilmaz 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is recorded in 68 ex situ collections from across the globe (BGCI 2017). The species is classed as Least Concern within Europe (Rivers 2016). Kandemir and Kaya (2009) recommended establishing in situ conservation efforts for the species by planting gene conservation forests to maintain genetic diversity of the species and to harvest seed for afforestation projects. They also stated that current stands of Fagus orientalis should be maintained for their potential genetic diversity. The impact of habitat conversion and disease within the species non-European range should be investigated.

Citation: Rivers, M.C. & Barstow, M. 2017. Fagus orientalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T79914188A109616835. . Downloaded on 18 August 2018.
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