Cedrus libani var. brevifolia


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Cedrus libani var. brevifolia
Species Authority: Hook.f.
Parent Species:
Cedrus brevifolia (Hook.f.) A.Henry
Taxonomic Notes: Sometimes described as a subspecies or variety of Cedrus libani.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-01-21
Assessor(s): Christou, A & Gardner, M.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.

The area of occupancy (AOO) is considerably less than 20 km2 and it is known from one location. The population appears to be increasing although some trees are showing signs of dieback that have been correlated with decreasing rainfall (Christou et al. 2001). Its very restricted distribution makes it vulnerable to stochastic events despite the numerous protection measures that have been put in place. Although this species meets some of the criteria for Critically Endangered there is insufficient evidence of significant ongoing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO), AOO, the number of mature individuals or extreme fluctuations. A continuing decrease in rainfall and an increase in the number of trees showing symptoms of dieback could mean that it could be upgraded to Critically Endangered in the near future. It is currently listed as Vulnerable.

1998 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Restricted to the Tripylos area in Paphos State Forest in the Troodos Mountains in western Cyprus.
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Known from five natural stands (Tripylos, Mauroi Kremoi,Sellae tis Ellias, Throni and Exo Milos). Only the biggest stand at Tripylos has been inventoried with the following data:

·         Actual AOO = 1.99 km².

·         16,000 mature individuals with diameter at breast height (DBH) 12 cm

·         135,000 individuals with DBH

Limited genetic research suggests that there is significant genetic differentiation among the neighbouring stands (Eliades 2008).

Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Sometimes in pure forests, especially on the mountain tops but often associated with Pinus brutia and Quercus alnifolia and mixed forest with Platanus orientalis. The substrate is of igneous formations. Good seed crops are typically produced once every five to seven years. There is a 50-60 % seed viability.

Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Used in reforestation programmes in the Troodos Mountains. Internationally it is sometimes used as an ornamental tree and in research programmes.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The main threats are fire and possibly climate changes. Because of the narrow distribution of this species, one fire has the potential of destroying most, if not the entire population. More recently, research has shown a direct correlation between decreasing annual rainfall and canopy die-back. Debilitated trees have also become prone to insect attack (Christou et al. 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: All stands have recently been declared as Natura 2000 Sites while some were designated as National Nature Reserves in 1984 and 2000. All human activities and grazing are excluded from the native stands. There is an effective fire protection system in place and a permanent monitoring plan. Gene banks have also been established in the form of ex situ conservation plantations.

Bibliography [top]

Christou, K.A., Hatzikyriakou, X. and Nikolaou, C. 2001. Die-back of Cyprus cedar (Cedrus brevifolia) at Pafos forest. Conference: Forest Research: A challenge for an integrated European approach Greece, August 27 - 1 September 1.

Eliades, N.-G.H. 2008. Fingerprinting of genetic diversity and patterns of spatial genetic variation in the endemic tree Cedrus brevifolia (Hook.f.) Henry from Cyprus: implications for its conservation. Optimus Mostafa Verlag.

Farjon, A. 2001. World Checklist and Bibliography of Conifers. 2nd edition. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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

Tsintides, T., Christodoulou, C.S., Delipetrou, P. and Georghiou, K. 2007. The Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus. Cyprus Forestry Association, Lefkosia.

Citation: Christou, A & Gardner, M. 2011. Cedrus libani var. brevifolia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 September 2015.
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