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Abies forrestii var. forrestii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES PINACEAE

Scientific Name: Abies forrestii var. forrestii
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Forrest's Fir
Synonym(s):
Abies chengii Rushforth
Taxonomic Notes: Abies chengii Rushforth was described from cultivated trees in the British Isles, derived from seed collected by George Forrest "somewhere in Yunnan" and was accepted as a species (Farjon 1990). It is more probably another variety (or a mere form not deserving a botanical name) of A. forrestii. A hybrid origin with this species and A. chensiensis Van Tieghem subsp. salouenensis (Bord.-Rey & Gaussen) Rushforth has also been suggested, but without supporting evidence. Abies forrestii is evidently a variable species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-16
Assessor(s): Zhang, D, Katsuki, T. & Rushforth, K.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
Justification:
Abies forrestii var. forrestii is assessed as Near Threatened (NT) as it occurs at lower elevations in the Lijiang and Muli districts where there has been significant deforestation. While the information available is not sufficient to assign a Vulnerable status under criterion A2cd, the use of NT is considered appropriate as highlighting a possible situation which may need to be addressed in a future re-assessment.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The typical form of A. forrestii is confined to the Lijiang area and across the border into the Muli district of Sichuan (China). It may also occur in Xizang.
Countries:
Native:
China (Sichuan, 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. The overall population trend is decreasing.
Population Trend: Decreasing

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 variety is present in a number of protected areas.

Citation: Zhang, D, Katsuki, T. & Rushforth, K. 2013. Abies forrestii var. forrestii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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