Abies ziyuanensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Abies ziyuanensis L.K.Fu & S.L.Mo
Common Name(s):
English Ziyuan Fir
Abies dayuanensis Q.X.Liu
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: According to Fu et al. (1980), this species is closely related to Abies beshanzuensis M.H.Wu, another novelty described around that time. Farjon and Rushforth (1989) classified A. ziyuanensis in section Momi, subsection Holophyllae, as its close affinity to A. chensiensis seemed more likely on morphological grounds. Liguo et al. (1999) reduced A. ziyuanensis to a variety of A. beshanzuensis. If this taxonomy is accepted, A. ziyuanensis would no longer be considered an extremely rare species, but a variety of a rare, but more widespread species. A recent phylogenetic study (Xiang et al. 2009) based on nuclear DNA sequence data (ITS regions) sampled A. ziyuanensis amongst 48 species. In this study it appeared to be closely related to A. homolepis and also to A. chensiensis.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii); C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-12-13
Assessor(s): Farjon, A., Li, J.-y., Li, N., Li, Y., Carter, G., Katsuki, T., Liao, W., Luscombe, D, Qin, H.-n., Rao, L.-b., Rushforth, K., Yang, Y., Yu, S., Xiang, Q. & Zhang, D
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Christian, T.
The extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, it is known from four locations which are severely fragmented and there is continuing decline in the quality of the habitat due to a number of threats such as landslides and overgrazing by sheep and cattle. Furthermore, the entire population consist on fewer than 2,000 mature individuals and there are fewer than 250 individuals in the largest subpopulation. It is therefore listed as Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Recorded from NE Guangxi (Rongshui Xian, Yuanbao Shan), and SW Hunan (Ziyuan Xian, Xingni, Chenbu).
Countries occurrence:
China (Guangxi, Hunan)
Additional data:
Number of Locations:4
Lower elevation limit (metres):1650
Upper elevation limit (metres):1750
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The entire population is estimated to number fewer than 2,000 plants. In Guangxi there are two subpopulations – 13 trees in one and only one in the other. Mostly mature individuals.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:250-1970
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Abies ziyuanensis is a rare fir occurring on the highest mountains in Guangxi and on the border with Hunan, in a narrow belt between 1,650 m and 1,750 m asl. These mountains have a cool, very wet climate, with a mean annual temperature between 9.2º-12ºC, and a winter period of four to five months (November-March) in which the mean temperature is between -3º to -5º C (min. -10º). The weather is usually cloudy, with much fog, the annual precipitation is 2,100-2,400 mm and snow lasts from December through March. Abies ziyuanensis occurs, together with other conifers, scattered in a mixed forest dominated by deciduous broad-leaved trees. Above 1,700 m on Yuanbao Shan it is replaced by A. yuanbaoshanensis.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):30-35

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: No current uses are recorded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is only known from less than five localities, some in close proximity. As it occurs lower on the mountains, it was cut for timber in the past, but this has now mostly ceased. Present threats are landslides and overgrazing by sheep and cattle.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Some subpopulations occur in protected areas.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection

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
  Invasive species control or prevention: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
10. Geological events -> 10.3. Avalanches/landslides
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

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:

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

Farjon, A. and Rushforth, K. 1989. A classification of Abies Miller (Pinaceae). Notes from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 46(1): 59-79.

Fu, L., Lu, Y. and Mo, S. 1980. The genus Abies discovered for the first time in Guangxi and Hunan. Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica 18(2): 205.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: (Accessed: 10 November 2011).

Liguo, F., Li, N., Elias, T.S. and Mill, R.R. 1999. Pinaceae Lindley. In: Z.Y. Wu and P.H. Raven (eds), Flora of China. Vol. 4 (Cycadaceae through Fagaceae), Science Press, Beijing, and Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.

Xiang, Q.P., Xiang, Q.Y., Guo, Y.Y. and Zhang, X.C. 2009. Phylogeny of Abies (Pinaceae) inferred from nrITS sequence data. Taxon 58(1): 141-152.

Citation: Farjon, A., Li, J.-y., Li, N., Li, Y., Carter, G., Katsuki, T., Liao, W., Luscombe, D, Qin, H.-n., Rao, L.-b., Rushforth, K., Yang, Y., Yu, S., Xiang, Q. & Zhang, D. 2011. Abies ziyuanensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T32320A9696874. . Downloaded on 20 August 2018.
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