Abies delavayi ssp. fansipanensis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Abies delavayi ssp. fansipanensis
Species Authority: (Q.P.Xiang) Rushforth
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Fansipan Fir
Abies fansipanensis Q.P.Xiang
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: This tree has previously been known as Abies delavayi var. nukiangensis in major references such as Vietnam Red Data Book (Anon. 1996) and the Flore du Cambodge, du Laos et du Viet Nam (Hiêp and Vidal 1996). It was redescribed as a new species (Xiang 1997) on the basis of cone characters and then reduced to a subspecies by Rushforth (1999).More recent investigations suggests that the original separate specific status could be more appropriate.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(i,ii,v)+2ab(i,ii,v); C1+2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-12-14
Assessor(s): Rushforth, K., Xiang, Q. & Carter, G.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
The assessment of Critically Endangered is based on its very limited distribution within a single location, its small population size, an absence of regeneration and decline in quality of habitat along with an estimated continuing decline of 25% over the next generation. The assessment is based on field investigations carried out by K. Rushforth between 1992 and 2001.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Vulnerable (VU)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Viet Nam, where is is found in Lao Cai Province (Mt. Fan Si Pan). Restricted to the east flank of Fan Si Pan (Phan Si Pan) between circa 2,600-2,800 m in a forest composed of mature trees with few intermediate age classes and few seedlings. The lower forest band was destroyed by forest fire in late 1970s/early 1980s and there has been no subsequent regeneration.

Attempts to find it on high peaks further south in the Hoang Lien Son range have not yielded any other populations.
Countries occurrence:
Viet Nam
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:0.2
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:4
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):2600
Upper elevation limit (metres):2800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Circa 200-250 mature trees, few seedlings.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:200-250Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
All individuals in one subpopulation:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Abies delavayi ssp. fansipanensis is endemic on Mt. Fan Si Pan, the highest mountain in Viet Nam in the extreme NW of the country. It is an outlier of a widespread species group found where there are periods of high summer rainfall. It grows on the eastern flank of this granitic mountain at altitudes between c. 2,600 m and 2,800 m asl as an emergent tree in primary evergreen tropical high montane forest.  Rainfall is very high, to 3,500 mm or more per year with frequent clouds cover on  the summit. Snow is common for periods of the winter, with minima temperatures probably in the range of -15ºC.   Associated taxa are a Borinda species of bamboo, Acer, Sorbus, Daphne and Rhododendron spp.
Generation Length (years):15

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Currently the main threats are forest fires caused by lightning and those associated with tourist activities and development. The main route to the summit of the Viet Nam’s highest mountain passes through the forest, with an increasing number of people visiting the summit. Currently there is no direct logging risk as the area is too inaccessible and the species occurs in a protected area.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Entire known population occurs within a national park. Small ex-situ cultivation.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.1. Recreational activities
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Whole (>90%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Medium Impact: 7 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.1. Increase in fire frequency/intensity
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Whole (>90%) ♦ severity: Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score: High Impact: 8 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.2. Problematic native species
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.8. Other

Bibliography [top]

Anon. 1996. Red Data Book of Vietnam - Plants. Science and Technology Publishing House, Hanoi. (in Vietnamese).

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.

Hiêp, N.T. and Vidal, J.E. 1996. Flore di Cambodge di Laos et du Vietnam. Muséum National D'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 10 November 2011).

Rushforth, K.D. 1999. Taxonomic notes on some Sino-Himalayan conifers. International Dendrology Society Yearbook 1998: 60-63.

Xiang, Q.-P. 1997. Abies fansipanensis - a new species of the genus Abies from Vietnam. Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica 35(4): 356-359.

Citation: Rushforth, K., Xiang, Q. & Carter, G. 2011. Abies delavayi ssp. fansipanensis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T44724A10943353. . Downloaded on 28 November 2015.
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