Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Cupressaceae

Scientific Name: Cupressus chengiana
Species Authority: S.Y.Hu
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Cheng Cypress
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: Two varieties are recognized: the typical variety from Gansu and Sichuan and var jiangensis, restricted to the Longmen Shan in Sichuan

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B2ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-13
Assessor(s): Zhang, D & Christian, T.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
The species level assessment for Cupressus chengiana is determined by the assessment for the typical variety as it is this taxon that occupies the major part of the species' distribution and population, with the other variety jiangeensis being only known for certain from a single tree. With an area of occupancy of 700 km2, fewer than 10 locations, and a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals, the species is consequently assessed as Vulnerable.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2000 Vulnerable (VU)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in China: S Gansu, N & W Sichuan.
Countries occurrence:
China (Gansu, Sichuan)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 700
Number of Locations: 10
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1200
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2750
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total population is declining due to past and recent exploitation for timber.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In small, pure stands in some valleys, but more commonly on rocky slopes or cliffs associated with Koelreuteria paniculata, Morus mongolica, Campylotropis delavayi, Bauhinia faberi, Cotoneaster multiflorus, and C. gracilis; in non-acidic brown soils over granites, quartzites and limestones. Based on verified herbarium collections, the altitudinal range is extensive, ranging from ca. 1200 m to 2750 m a.s.l. The climate is characterized by cold winters and cool to warm summers, with a distinct alternation of dry and rainy seasons; annual precipitation varies between 500-750(-1000 mm), with a 50-70% moisture deficit. There is no recorded difference in ecology for the two varieties.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 10-15

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Timber of this species is valued for building and the species has been exploited for its larger, more or less straight trunks for many centuries. On a small scale trees have been planted as individuals or in groups in villages.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is known from ca. 9 different locations where natural populations are now mostly restricted to more inaccessible sites such as canyons and exposed cliffs. Overcutting is the main cause of its decline. A collection from Hunan Province is most likely to be from an introduced tree.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is planted in villages within its natural range in Sichuan and possibly in Gansu as well.

Citation: Zhang, D & Christian, T. 2013. Cupressus chengiana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42217A2962398. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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