Lepidothamnus fonkii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Lepidothamnus fonkii
Species Authority: Phil.
Common Name(s):
English Chilean Rimu
Taxonomic Notes: In 1982 Quinn (1982) transferred Dacrydium fonkii (Phil.) Benth. & Hook. to the genus Lepidothamnus

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-08-10
Assessor(s): Gardner, M. & Hechenleitner, P.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
There is no evidence of any significant threat to Lepidothamnus fonkii, hence it is reassessed as Least Concern. The fact that it has a very scattered distribution, often in very remote areas away from human activities, bodes well for its conservation.
1998 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Native to Argentina and Chile. Its main distribution is in southern Chile where it has a discontinuous distribution from Region X (Prov. Valdivia, 40° 10'S) to Region XII (Province Magallanes 55° 00') (Marticorena 1995). Its distribution in Argentina is uncertain. Two major floras of Patagonian Argentina (Moore 1983, Correa 1998) do not list the species for Argentina and Covas (1995) states that the records for Argentina are very old and cites a Spegazzini specimen in La Plata (LP) herbarium. Recent research reveals that LP has 3 herbarium specimens: Santa Cruz, Lago Argentino, (1892), Mauri 58.; Chubut, Rio Pico (no collector); Camorones (no collector). No recent collections from Argentina have been seen.
Argentina (Chubut, Santa Cruz); Chile (Aisén, Los Lagos, Magellanes)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Subpopulations become increasingly more disjunct towards the northern part of its distribution in Chile: two notable isolated subpopulations are in Chile's coastal cordillera south of Valdivia in Monumento Natural Alerce Costero and on the highest point of the island of  Chiloé in Parque Nacional de Chiloé. South of here, from ca 47 degrees latitude, subpopulations become more frequent but still widely distributed and typically remote. There is no evidence of past or recent reduction in its range.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A dwarf shrub which occurs in Magellanic moorland bogs often in association with Fitzroya cupressoides and/or Pilgerodendron uviferum from an altitude of 2-900 m.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: No uses have been recorded for this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although some of the subpopulations may be vulnerable to degradation due to the cutting (for pulp) and fire of the surrounding Nothofagus pumilio and N. antarctica forest, this activity is still not thought to have become a significant threat (D.M. Moore pers. comm. 2011). Most subpopulations are in extremely remote areas where plants are often locally abundant, e.g. in the vicinity of the Ríos Baker y Pascua, Región de Aisén, Chile (Rodríguez et al. 2008). A potential future threat is from the North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) of which 25 pairs were introduced to Tierra del Fuego Island in 1946. Since the 1990s a small colony has become established on the mainland of Chile just opposite Tierra del Fuego island (Anderson et al. 2009) and the damming activities of the beavers could therefore become a threat to L. fonkii locations, but this is a very localized threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many subpopulations are in protected areas e.g. Monumento Natural Alerce Costero, Parque Nacional Chiloe and P.N. Torres del Paine.

Bibliography [top]

Anderson, C.B., Martinez-Pastur, G., Lencina, M., Willem, P.K., Moorman, M.C. and Rosemond, A.D. 2009. Do introduced North American beavers Castor canadensis engineer differently in southern South America? An overview with implications for restoration. Mammal Review 39(1): 33-52.

Chebez, J.C. 1994. Los que se van. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Albatros.

Correa, M.N. 1998. Flora patagónica. Clave para la determinación de las familias de Fanerógamas de la Flora Patagónica . Colec. Cient. INTA 8(1): 266-281.

Covas, G. 1995. Flora Fanerogámica Argentina. Fascículo 4. pp. 23. CONICET.

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

Marticorena, C. and Rodriguez, R. (eds). 1995. Flora de Chile. pp. 351. Universidad de Concepcion, Concepcion.

Moore, D.M. 1983. Flora of Tierra del Fuego. Anthony Nelson, London.

Pisano, E. 1983. The Magellanic Tundra Complex. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Quinn, C.J. 1982. The Taxonomy of Dacrydium Sol. ex Lamb emend de Laub (Podocarpaceae). Australian Journal of Botany 30: 311-320.

Rodríguez, R., Marticorena, A. and Teneb, E. 2008. Plantas vasculares de los ríos Baker y Pascua, Región de Aisén, Chile. Gayana Botanica 65(1): 39-70.

Stein, A.H. 1956. Natural Forests of Chile. Unasylva 10(4): 155-161.

Villagran, C. 2002. Flora y vegetacion del Parque Nacional Chiloe : guia de excursion botanica por la Cordillera de Piuche. Gobierno de Chile CONAF, Castro, Chiloe.

Citation: Gardner, M. & Hechenleitner, P. 2013. Lepidothamnus fonkii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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