Abies homolepis var. homolepis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Abies homolepis var. homolepis
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Nikko Fir
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): Katsuki, T., Zhang, D & Rushforth, K.
Reviewer(s): Farjon, A. & Thomas, P.
The fragmentation of the outlying populations with consequent reduction in population size and range in the recent past gives rise to the possibility of Abies homolepis becoming threatened in the future, especially if Japanese deer numbers continue to increase. Therefore the use of the Near Threatened category is justified (almost qualifies as threatened under criterion A2c).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to Japan occurring in central Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku.
Countries occurrence:
Japan (Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku)
Lower elevation limit (metres):700
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Abies homolepis occurs in mountain areas, and makes big populations especially in central Honshu on the eastern side facing the Pacific ocean.  However, peripheral populations are scattered by logging.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Abies homolepis is a species of high mountains in the central parts of the Japanese islands Honshu and Shikoku. In the south it occurs from 1,100 m to 1,800 m a.s.l., in Honshu between 700 m and 2,000 m. The soils are mesic, derived from volcanic rock and usually well drained. The climate is cool and humid. Near the tree limit it forms either pure stands, or mixtures with A. veitchii and/or Larix kaempferi, but at lower elevations it occurs in the mixed coniferous deciduous forests, with e.g. Fagus crenata, Quercus crispula, Betula grossa, Tsuga diversifolia, Thuja standishii, Pinus densiflora. A. firma replaces A. homolepis below 1,100 m.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):30

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Nikko Fir is not an important timber tree as its range is limited and it occurs at high altitudes. It is fairly widely planted as an ornamental tree in Japan as well as in Europe, where it appears to be one of the least demanding species in the genus. A few cultivars are known in Japan as well as in Europe (independently derived), mostly being dwarfed forms suitable for Japanese gardens or rockeries.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Because the value of timber is low, Nikko Fir has not been used as a timber tree to any significant extent. As a result, there are many relatively large subpopulations remaining in central Honshu. However, Japanese Deer are a serious problem, reducing regeneration and sometimes killing larger trees through ring-barking.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There is no special protection system for this variety. However, most localities are now at least protected from logging.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.2. Invasive/problematic species control

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓   National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

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).

Citation: Katsuki, T., Zhang, D & Rushforth, K. 2013. Abies homolepis var. homolepis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T191563A1989301. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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