Abies beshanzuensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Abies beshanzuensis M.H.Wu
Common Name(s):
English Baishan Fir
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-13
Assessor(s): Yang, Y., Zhang, D, Luscombe, D, Liao, W., Farjon, A., Katsuki, T., Xiang, Q. & Li, N.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Rushforth, K.
Abies beshanzuensis species is assessed as Critically Endangered under Criterion D due to its extremely small population size (only three plants left in the wild).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to China's Zhejiang Province where it occurs on Mt. Baishan-zu northeast of Qingyuan in the Tung-Kung Range at 27° 45' N, 119° 11' E.
Countries occurrence:
China (Zhejiang)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:0.05
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):1500
Upper elevation limit (metres):1700
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Known from only a few mature individuals in the wild, without natural regeneration, in degraded angiosperm woodland. According to an account by Dudley (1988), in 1987 only three individual trees were left (after two plants had been removed to Beijing Botanic Gardens and subsequently died there and to Hang Zhou Botanic Garden which also died) of a population at discovery in 1963 of only seven individuals, of which four were flowering and coning at that time. The population had been greatly reduced in size following flooding and subsequent landslides in the area.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:3Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Yes
All individuals in one subpopulation:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:On a medium high mountain in the maritime southeastern part of China, with warm summers and cool, moist winters (annual precipitation ca. 1,250 mm), where it is found between 1,500-1,700 m a.s.l. It grows there with other conifers, such as Tsuga chinensis, Cephalotaxus sinensis and Taxus chinensis, and broad-leaved trees, e.g. Castanopsis spp., Fagus lucida, Quercus spp., Acer spp., Magnolia cylindrica and Lithocarpus hancei. The angiosperm trees are dominating the present site of Abies beshanzuensis.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No
Generation Length (years):50

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: No uses other than recent attempts to grow it in cultivation have been reported.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Deforestation (for agriculture) has in the past reduced the population to a few trees. Regeneration of the forest mainly causes angiosperms and bamboos to dominate at present on the site where Abies occurred before.Climate change is a potential future threat as this species has such a small population size and limited distribution. The population has been impacted by flooding in the past and this remains a future threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species was taken into cultivation from cuttings at a forestry station in Qingyuan, south Zhejiang, China, as a graft on Abies firma rootstock. The remaining plants in the wild are under protection. There is an ex situ programme under-way and they are now reintroducing seedlings grown in cultivation back into the original habitat.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
3. Species management -> 3.4. Ex-situ conservation -> 3.4.1. Captive breeding/artificial propagation

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing:Future    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.4. Storms & flooding
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

Bibliography [top]

Dudley, T.R. 1988. Chinese Firs: Particularly Abies beshanzuensis. American Conifer Society Bulletin 5(4): 84-93.

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:

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

Farjon, A. and Page, C.N. (compilers) 1999. Conifers. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Conifer Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Li-kuo, F. and Jian-ming, J. 1992. China Plant Red Data Book – Rare and Endangered Plants 1. Science Press, Beijing.

Citation: Yang, Y., Zhang, D, Luscombe, D, Liao, W., Farjon, A., Katsuki, T., Xiang, Q. & Li, N. 2013. Abies beshanzuensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T32318A2814360. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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