Climate change

Climate plays a key role in determining the distribution and persistence of conifers in their natural habitats. Climates change over both contemporary and geological timescales and in response to this, some species may become locally or even globally extinct or they may disperse to more suitable areas. Over shorter time scales, the longevity and resilience of many species may allow them to persist in the same area.  In the recent past, these processes generally occurred within a landscape locally impacted by humans but more recently, large areas of natural vegetation have been converted for other uses. Ecosystems have become fragmented and degraded, many individual species have been intensively exploited and the introduction of alien plants, animals and diseases has also caused significant problems.  Against this backdrop, climate changes associated with global warming such as increases or decreases in precipitation levels and average temperatures are having increasing direct and indirect effects on many conifer species and their habitats. Impacts include more intensive or prolonged droughts, higher frequency and intensity of fires and increases in pests and disease.

Juniperus excelsa ssp. polycarpos. Oman

Juniperus excelsa ssp. polycarpos. Oman

Taxa in the category - Climate change:

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Picea alcoquiana (Veitch ex Lindl.) Carrière

Endemic to Japan where logging has caused a considerable reduction in the population Read full species entry >

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Picea breweriana S.Watson

Restricted to the Klamath Ranges of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon where the main threat is from fire and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Picea koyamae Shiras.

Endemic to Central Honshu in Japan where a population of less than 1000 individuals occur on two mountains; extensive historic logging has now led to severe fragmentation Read full species entry >

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Pinus radiata D.Don

Distributed on the Pacific coast of California and on two islands off the coast of Mexico, it is threatened by feral goats on the islands and by an introduced pathogen, and competition from other trees in the absence of periodic fires on the mainland Read full species entry >

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Pinus radiata var. binata (Engelm.) Lemmon

Endemic to two small islands off the coast of Baja California, Mexico: the main threats are pitch canker, impacts of possibly frequent fires, climate change, and introduced species Read full species entry >

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Podocarpus affinis Seem.

Podocarpus affinis has a restricted extent of occurrence (ca. 1,400 km2) well within the threshold for listing as Endangered under the B1 criterion. It is known from more than five locations and the subpopulations are not severely fragmented as defined under the IUCN Red List Guidelines. There is likely to have been some recent decline in the quality of its habitat in parts of its range due to deforestation and forest clearance. The extent of the decline is uncertain. At this stage an assessment of Near Threatened seems most appropriate (almost qualifies under B1ab(iii)). Read full species entry >

Near Mt Tomanivi
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Taxus floridana Nutt. ex Chapm.

Endemic to a very small area in northern Florida, USA where historically the population was much depleted due to selective logging which has led to fragmentation and poor regeneration Read full species entry >

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