Abies forrestii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES PINACEAE

Scientific Name: Abies forrestii
Species Authority: Coltm.-Rog.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Forrest's Fir
Synonym(s):
Abies chengii Rushforth
Taxonomic Notes: Abies forrestii is a variable species. Four varieties are recognized on the IUCN Red List: var. forrestii, var. ferreana, var. georgei and var. smithii. These are often treated as distinct species. In addition Abies chengii Rushforth is considered to be conspecific with Abies forrestii var. forrestii and Abies chayuensis is considered to be conspecific with Abies forestii var. ferreana.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-13
Assessor(s): Zhang, D, Katsuki, T. & Rushforth, K.
Reviewer(s): Farjon, A. & Thomas, P.
Justification:
The species as a whole does not meet any of the criteria for a threatened category and is therefore assessed as Least Concern. Abies forrestii var. ferreana and var. georgei are assessed as Least Concern while var. smithii and var. forrestii are assessed as Near Threatened.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Recorded from SW Sichuan, NW Yunnan, SE Xizang [Tibet] in China.

The typical variety of A. forrestii is confined to the Lijiang area and across the border into the Muli district of Sichuan.;  var. smithii is found on the Lijiang shan, with other entities occurring west to the Yarlung Tsangpo (Yaluzangbu) drainage of southeast Tibet.  These have been treated as vicarious species in other assessments, including A. georgei, A. ferreana, A, chayuensis and A. fordei.
Countries:
Native:
China (Sichuan, Tibet [or Xizang], Yunnan)
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It mainly forms pure stands but with mixed conifers and broadleafed trees especially at the forest margins. It is uncertain if the overall population is decreasing. There have been significant declines in some parts of its range, and affecting particular varieties to a greater extent than others.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species (and its varieties) occurs in the high mountains of SW China at elevations between 2,400 m and 4,300 m a.s.l. (commonly 3,000-4,000 m), on grey-brown mountain podzols. The climate is cold and wet, annual precipitation ranges from 1,000 mm to 2,000 mm. The species forms forests in pure stands near the tree limit, or is mixed with Picea likiangensis, Larix potaninii, Tsuga dumosa and some broad-leaved trees, e.g. Betula albo-sinensis, Acer spp. and Sorbus spp. at lower elevations. An ericaceous lower shrub layer with Rhododendron spp. is often prominent.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Forrest's Fir and and its several varieties occur at high altitudes, often up to the tree line and consequently only yield timber suitable for saw mill processing from larger trees at its lowest altitudinal range. Exploitation has (at least officially) ceased with Chinese forest conservation law now prohibiting logging in old growth forest in the western provinces. Having been collected on numerous occasions by the famous European plant hunters of the early twentieth century it was introduced to Europe and the United States where it is still quite common in arboreta and private large gardens. Most trees labelled A. delavayi actually belong to this species (A. delavayi has narrow leaves with revolute margins and dark violet-blue or purplish black seed cones).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Forrest's Fir and and its several varieties occur at high altitudes, often up to the tree line and consequently only yield timber suitable for saw mill processing from larger trees at its lowest altitudinal range. Exploitation has (at least officially) ceased with Chinese forest conservation law now prohibiting logging in old growth forest in the western provinces.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Government of China has recently imposed a logging ban in western China. This species is also known from several protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

Farjon, A. 1990. Pinaceae. Drawings and descriptions of the genera Abies, Cedrus, Pseudolarix, Keteleeria, Nothotsuga, Tsuga, Cathaya, Pseudotsuga, Larix and Picea. Koeltz Scientific Books, Königstein, Germany.

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

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: http://www.catalogueoflife.org/.

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

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2013).


Citation: Zhang, D, Katsuki, T. & Rushforth, K. 2013. Abies forrestii. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 August 2014.
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