Gnetum montanum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Gnetopsida Gnetales Gnetaceae

Scientific Name: Gnetum montanum Markgr.
Gnetum edule Kurz
Gnetum latifolium Parl.
Thoa montana (Markgr.) Dowled
Taxonomic Notes: There is some uncertainty in the exact application of Gnetum montanum. Markgraf listed 41 syntypes, which include G. montanum, but also G. latifolium. The name has also been used for G. luofuense. The species is best characterized by few-flowered male involucral collars and small, distinctly stipitate seeds (Liguo et al. 1999).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-09-08
Assessor(s): Baloch, E.
Reviewer(s): Hilton-Taylor, C. & Lutz, M.L.
Gnetum montanum has a fairly wide distribution and has been reported as relatively common in some parts of its area. It is also known from several protected areas in different countries. The species is therefore classified as Least Concern. However, most of the ecoregions it occurs in are threatened. Almost certainly the population is in decline due to habitat destruction and degradation. This is more severe in some areas than in others. In northeastern India a noticeable decline has already been reported in the 1960s and the species is under CITES protection in Nepal as different parts of the plant can be used for food, medicinal remedies and for rope production. Surveys and monitoring in these regions are encouraged as well as a taxonomic revision.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Gnetum montanum is known from northeast India, Bhutan, Nepal to southern China and Indo-China (Markgraf 1930, Sahni 1990, Hiêp et al. 1996, Liguo et al. 1999, Newman et al. 2007).
Countries occurrence:
Bhutan; China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan); India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Sikkim); Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar (Myanmar (mainland)); Nepal; Thailand; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:179200
Lower elevation limit (metres):100
Upper elevation limit (metres):1800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no information available on population size or individual number of G. montanum. On a herbarium sheet of a specimen from Assam collected in 1967 it was reported that already at that time the species was less abundant than before as fire and clearing destroyed many vines. Hiêp et al. (1996) however described the species as fairly common.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Specimen label information suggests that G. montanum occurs in subtropical broadleaf rainforests often at river side locations, in evergreen and mixed deciduous forest in elevations often above 1,000 m. It has been found on sandy loam soil and in association with bamboo.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The fibre of the bark of G. montanum is used to make ropes and fishing nets. The seeds are edible when fried and produce oil that is used in the kitchen. In China wine is made with the seeds. The watery sap is used as a cold drink. An antidote against poison is made from the root as well as a remedy against malaria and other tropical fevers (Hiêp et al. 1996, Liguo et al. 1999). In Nepal mainly the seeds are used either roasted as food or cooked in some water and used against cough and colds (Manandhar 2002). Seeds, bark and roots are removed from wild populations of G. montanum, but it is unknown to what extent.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss caused by deforestation is the severest threat to the species. Gnetum montanum is mostly found in hilly and mountainous areas, where in all countries shifting cultivation is a major problem and causes most of the deforestation and degradation. Fire and extensive grazing are further threats, followed by logging (Carpenter 2001, 2001; Carpenter et al. 2001; Han and Khaing 2001; Rawat and Wikramanayake 2001, 2001; Wikramanayake et al. 2001). Most of the ecoregions the species occurs in are classified as vulnerable and some are critical/endangered. Gnetum montanum is CITES listed in Nepal, which indicates that human use threatens the population of the species. The species is used for food, to make medical remedies and for rope construction in further countries of its occurrence for example in China (Liguo et al. 2000) and Indochina area (Hiêp et al. 1996). The extent of use is not reported. The CITES listing indicates that the species was traded in Nepal. It is unknown whether this is the case in other countries of its occurrence.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Gnetum montanum has been found in several protected areas throughout its distribution range: Sikkim: Khangchendzonga National Park, Bhutan: Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand: Lum Nam Pai Wildlife Sanctuary, Mai Ta Khai National Park, Khao Laem National Park and close to Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, Lao PDR: Phou Khao Khoay National Biodiversity Conservation Area, Viet Nam: Ba Na-Nui Nature Reserve, China: Guangxi, Chuandoghe Nature Reserve. The species is listed in Nepal as Endangered (EN) (Shrestha and Joshi 1996), but was not yet assessed on a global level. It is CITES listed for Nepal. No other species specific conservation measures are known.

In Nepal, WWF Nepal is active to support biodiversity conservation and community development programmes in collaboration with governmental departments of forestry and conservation. In northeast India the Khangchendzonga National Park, where G. montanum has been collected, is part of the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, which contains nearly 40 % of the area of Sikkim. In Guangxi/China the World Bank financed Guangxi Integreated Forestry Development and Conservation Project was approved in 2006 until 2012 with one of the aims to improve the conservation of the globally significant biodiversity. This is should be achieved by strengthening the management of nature reserves, by increasing management capacity and knowledge of biodiversity resources and by strengthening the cooperation between local communities and nature reserve staff to address areas of mutual interest.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.3. Trend Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Medicine - human & veterinary
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Fibre
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Carpenter, C. 2001. WWF Ecoregions, Hainan Island monsoon rain forest (IM0169). Available at:

Carpenter, C. 2001. WWF Ecoregions, Jian Nan subtropical evergreen forests (IM0118). Available at:

Carpenter, C., Boonratana, R. and Rundel, P. 2001. WWF Ecoregions, Northern Indochina subtropical forests (IM0137).

Han, U.S. and Khaing, S.T. 2001. WWF Ecoregions, Irrawaddy moist deciduous forests (IM0117). Available at:

Hiêp, N.T. and Vidal, J.E. 1996. Flore di Cambodge di Laos et du Vietnam. Muséum National D'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: (Accessed: 30 June 2017).

Liguo, F., Yongfu, Y. and Gilbert, M.G. 1999. Gnetaceae. In: Z.Y. Wu. and P H. Raven (eds), Flora of China, pp. 102-105. Science Press and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, Beijin and St. Louis.

Manandhar, N.P. 2002. Plants and People of Nepal. Timber Press, Inc., Hong Kong.

Markgraf, F. 1930. Monographie der gattung Gnetum. Extrait du Bulletin du Jardin Botanique de Buitenzorg. Series III 10: 511.

Newman, M., Ketphanh, S., Svengsuksa, B., Thomas, P., Sengdala, K., Lamxay, V. and Armstrong, K. 2007. A Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Lao PDR. RBG Edinburgh, Edinburgh.

Rawat, G.S. and Wikramanayake, E.D. 2001. WWF Ecoregions, Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests (IM0401). Available at:

Rawat, G.S. and Wikramanayake, E.D. 2001. WWF Ecoregions, Meghalaya subtropical forests (IM0126). Available at:

Sahni, K.C. 1990. Gymnosperms of India and Adjacent Countries. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun.

Shrestha, T.B. and Joshi, R.M. 1996. Rare, Endemic and Endangered Plants of Nepal. WWF Nepal Program, Kathmandu.

Wikramanayake, E., Boonratana, R. and Rundel, P. 2001. WWF Ecoregions, South China-Vietnam subtropical evergreen forest (IM0149). Available at:

Citation: Baloch, E. 2011. Gnetum montanum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T194926A8920227. . Downloaded on 18 November 2017.
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