|Scientific Name:||Abies nebrodensis (Lojac.) Mattei|
Abies pectinata Gilib. var. nebrodensis Lojac.
|Taxonomic Source(s):||Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Critically Endangered A2cd; D ver 3.1|
|Reviewer(s):||Troia, A. & Allen, D.J.|
|Contributor(s):||Domina, G., Gardner, M., Knees, S., Schicchi, R. & Bilz, M.|
This tree is restricted to the Madonie Mountains in the north-central part of Sicily, Italy. There are 32 adult trees in the current population. This very small population size means that it still meets the criteria for listing as Critically Endangered under Criterion D, and under criteria A (A2cd) on the basis of past population decline.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
|Range Description:||Despite its scientific name, the Sicilian Fir (Abies nebrodensis) does not grow in the Nebrodi Mountains, but is presently limited to the steep, dry slopes between Vallone Madonna degli Angeli, Mt. Scalone, Mt. Pene and Mt. Cavallo, in the territory of the Municipality of Polizzi Generosa in the Madonie Mountains in the north-central part of Sicily. Conservation reafforestation activities have extended the distribution of this species between 700 to 2,000 m asl (G. Domina pers. comm. 2016).|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||The Madonie Mountains, rising to 1,979 m, were once covered by A. nebrodensis. By 1900, the species was considered extinct, due to extensive logging and erosion, but was rediscovered in 1957. The current population consists of 25 fertile trees out of 32 adult trees, and about 155 young plants (Schicchi et al. 2014) and conservation reafforestation is increasing the number of individuals (G. Domina pers. comm. 2016).|
|Current Population Trend:||Increasing|
|Habitat and Ecology:||The species grows up to around 2,000 m altitude on bare soils mostly deriving from quartzitic sandstones. The habitat, characterized by the species presence is listed within Annex I of the Habitats Directive (9220: Apennine beech forests with Abies alba and beech forests with Abies nebrodensis) (EUNIS 2016).|
|Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:||No|
|Generation Length (years):||300-500|
|Use and Trade:||The tree is not currently utilised, but was subject in the past to logging.|
|Major Threat(s):||The principal threat facing this species is the small population size. It will continue to be dependent on on-going conservation measures, especially fire suppression and habitat improvement.|
The tree has been assessed as CR both nationally (C. Montagnani pers. comm. 2016) and globally. The species is included in Appendix I of the Bern Convention and as a priority species in Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive. The woodland vegetation in which this species is found is listed in Annex I of the same Directive. The species occurs within the following Natura 2000 sites (EUNIS 2016);
In situ: An EU LIFE funded project was undertaken from 2001-2005 (Raimondo and Schicchi 2005, Silva et al. 2008), followed by a nationally funded (Interministerial Committee for Economic Planning; CIPE) project (Conservation of Abies nebrodensis and peatlands of Geraci Siculo). The immediate aim of the LIFE project was to stabilize the existing population and improve the survival rate of natural seedlings and planted trees raised as part of an ex situ programme. Wider aims included the elimination of non-indigenous fir species and the restoration of the natural ecosystem. All work has been carried out within the boundaries of the Madonie Regional Park. The number of trees has increased from 24 to 32, while natural seedlings have increased from 30 to 155. These are still immature.
Ex situ: An extensive ex situ programme has been in place for a number of years with trees planted in the Botanical Garden of Palermo (Italy) as well as in summer villas and second homes in the Madonie Mountains, slightly apart from their natural area of distribution. They have also been distributed to other botanic gardens and arboreta in Europe. A programme of controlled pollination instigated as part of the EU LIFE funded project has resulted in the production of an additional 3,000 plants for reinforcing the existing population.
EUNIS. 2016. Biodiversity Database. Available at: http://eunis.eea.europa.eu/.
IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-2. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 14 September 2017).
Raimondo, F.M. and Schicchi, R. 2005. Rendiconto sul progetto LIFE Natura n° LIFE2000NAT/IT/7228 “Conservazione in situ ed ex situ di Abies nebrodensis (Lojac.) Mattei”. Tipolitografia Luxograph, Palermo.
Schicchi, R., Amato, F., La Placa, G. and Bonomo, G. 2014. Population trend in Abies nebrodensis (Lojac.) Mattei. International Plant Science Conference “From Nature to Technological Exploitations”. 109° Congresso della Società Botanica Italiana, Florence. Florence, 2-5 September 2014.
Silva, J.P., Toland, J., Jones, W., Eldridge, J., Thorpe, E., Campbell, M. and O’Hara, E. 2008. LIFE and Europe’s endangered plants: Italy: Conserving the ‘critically endangered’ Sicilian fir and helping to ensure its long-term survival. Environment Directorate-General, European Commission, Luxembourg.
|Citation:||Thomas, P. 2017. Abies nebrodensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T30478A91164876.Downloaded on 21 February 2018.|