Abies kawakamii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Abies kawakamii
Species Authority: (Hayata) T.Itô
Common Name(s):
English Taiwan Fir
Abies mariesii Mast. variety kawakamii Hayata

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-02-23
Assessor(s): Thomas, P., Liao, W. & Yang, Y.
Reviewer(s): Farjon, A. & Gardner, M.
Abies kawakamii has a limited extent of occurrence and area of occupancy that are within the thresholds for Endangered under B1 and B2 criteria. Subpopulations could be considered severely fragmented and there are between five and ten locations when fire is considered as the main potential threat. However, as there is currently no evidence of a continuing decline, an assessment of Near Threatened is appropriate.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:A high mountain species, occurring between 2,400 m and 3,800 m a.s.l. in the central high mountains of Taiwan, Province of China. The extent of occurrence is approximately 2,900 km2 while the actual area of Abies dominated forest is estimated to be 20,000 ha (Shih et al. 2007). It is known from seven locations.
Taiwan, Province of China
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: At elevations above 3,000 m this species is the dominant tree and can form large stands.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Grows on montane slopes in grey brown podzolized soils and also on mountain yellow earth, both acid and usually rocky. The climate is temperate, super humid: above humid subtropical foothills the annual precipitation exceeds 4,000 mm, with maxima up to 10,000 mm, making the Taiwanese central high mountains one of the wettest mountain ranges in the world. There are some pure forests on the N and NE slopes at these high elevations (3,200 m to 3,600 m a.s.l.), or the species occurs mixed with scattered Pinus armandii var. mastersiana, Tsuga chinensis var. chinensis, Picea morrisonicola, and with Juniperus squamata var. morrisonicola at the upper limit of Abies. At lower elevations the forest becomes progressively more mixed with broad-leaved trees, e.g. Acer insulare, Trochodendron aralioides, Quercus semecarpifolia subsp. glabra, Ilex bioritsensis, and Eurya spp. Other conifers in this belt are Tsuga chinensis var. chinensis, which becomes more abundant than Abies kawakamii between 2,400 m and 3,000 m a.s.l., Pseudotsuga sinensis, and Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana, which is more abundant below 2,400 m.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The timber of this species was formerly exported to Japan, where it was used for general carpentry. It is little used for this purpose today in Taiwan. This species was introduced to England in 1930 and is occasionally found in arboreta in Europe and North America, but remains uncommon in cultivation.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Logging of this species, which occurred mainly during the period of Japanese occupation (1895-1945), has ceased almost completely and substantial populations now occur within national parks and other reserves. Its limited distribution and occurrence in a mosaic with subalpine bamboo grassland makes it vulnerable to fires that could be caused by much increased tourism. Regeneration after fire can be very slow (Chou and Chen 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Parts of the population of this species occur within protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

Chou, W.C. and Chen, M.Y. 2006. Post-fire regeneration on the alpine forests in central Taiwan. In: 3rd International Fire Ecology and Management Congress: Changing Fire Regimes: Context and Consequences November 13-17, 2006.

Farjon, A. 2010. Conifer Database (June 2008) In Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2010 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., eds). Reading, UK. Available at: http://www.catalogueoflife.org/.

Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Shih, F.L., Hwang, S.Y., Cheng, Y.P., Lee, P.F. and Lin, T.P. 2007. Uniform genetic diversity, low differentiation and neutral evolution characterize contemporary refuge populations of Taiwan Fir (Abies kawakamii, Pinaceae). American Journal of Botany 94(2): 194-202.

Citation: Thomas, P., Liao, W. & Yang, Y. 2013. Abies kawakamii. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 September 2015.
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 provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided