Abies mariesii 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Abies mariesii
Species Authority: Mast.
Common Name(s):
English Marie's Fir
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-14
Assessor(s): Katsuki, T., Zhang, D & Rushforth, K.
Reviewer(s): Farjon, A. & Thomas, P.
Despite Abies mariesii being restricted to high elevations, its distribution and regeneration appear to guarantee the survival of this species, so that it is therefore not considered threatened under the Red List Criteria. There is no evidence of a current threat to the species, hence it is assessed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to Honshu, Japan.
Countries occurrence:
Japan (Honshu)
Lower elevation limit (metres): 750
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2800
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species forms pure stands on mountain slopes. The population is thought to be stable.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A species of the high mountain sides and ridges in the upper montane and subalpine zones, occurring commonly between 1,000 m and 2,800 m a.s.l. (as low as 750 m in N Honshu). The soils are mostly derived from volcanic rock, usually podzolic and slightly acid or neutral, well drained, and moderately moist (mesic). The climate is cold, with abundant winter snow and cool, moist summers, the annual precipitation exceeds 2,000 mm in the mountains nearest to the Sea of Japan. Frequent typhoons are a destructive force reducing the maximum age of trees. Abies mariesii forms sometimes pure forests near the tree line, but is more common in mixed (coniferous) forests with e.g. Abies veitchii, Tsuga diversifolia, Picea jezoensis var. hondoensis and/or undergrowth of Pinus pumila and Juniperus communis var. nipponica, the latter two especially abundant on ridgetops. Common broad-leaved trees are Betula ermanii, Sorbus commixta, and Acer spp. In many previously disturbed areas with deep, fine textured soil, e.g. volcanic ash, there is a dense cover of small bamboo (Sasa paniculata and S. nipponica), which excludes most other plants (Franklin et al. 1979).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: No
Generation Length (years): 50

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species of fir has little value as a timber tree because it grows at high altitude and mostly in inaccessible localities. In horticulture it is rather uncommon despite its attractive dark green foliage leaves and contrasting white stomatal bands underneath. It is not at all tolerant of droughts and performs best in cool, wet conditions but on light, well-drained soils. It is mostly restricted to collections in botanic gardens and arboreta.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No specific threats have been identified for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No specific conservation actions have been targeted at this species. It is known from several protected areas.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration

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
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
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.

Franklin, J.F., Maeda, T., Oshumi, Y., Matsui, M. and Yagi, H. 1979. Subalpine coniferous forests of Central Honshu, Japan. Ecological Monographs 49(3): 311-334.

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

Citation: Katsuki, T., Zhang, D & Rushforth, K. 2013. Abies mariesii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42291A2970199. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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