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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Athrotaxis cupressoides D.Don

Endemic to Tasmania where the main threats are fire, grazing of regeneration and dieback caused by Phytophthora Read full species entry >

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Athrotaxis selaginoides D.Don

One of two Athrotaxis species endemic to Tasmania where historically it has suffered from fire and logging. Today, even with protection, there is a continuing decline due to fire. Read full species entry >

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Callitris oblonga A.Rich. & Rich.

Endemic to Australia where it occurs on the mainland and Tasmania. Threats include  forest clearance, fire, grazing, invasive species and soil erosion. Read full species entry >

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Cedrus atlantica (Endl.) Manetti ex Carrière

Endemic to North Africa where it occurs in Morroco and Algeria. The main threats include logging, fire and extensive grazing by goats Read full species entry >

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Cupressus dupreziana A.Camus

Represented by the two varieties C. dupreziana var. dupreziana (Algeria) and C. dupreziana var. atlantica (Morocco). Long-lived (2000 years) but their future is threatened by fire, seed collecting and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Cupressus dupreziana var. dupreziana

Native to the Sahara Desert in Algeria where it occupies a narrow strip of about 120km long on the edge of Tassili Plateau. It is Critically Endangered due to grazing and cutting for firewood Read full species entry >

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Juniperus microsperma (W.C.Cheng & L.K.Fu) R.P.Adams

Currently listed on the IUCN Redlist under Juniperus convallium var microsperma and evaluated as Data Deficient, recent research strongly indicates that this taxon should be treated as a distinct species unrelated to J. convallium. Given J. microsperma's limited distribution and the impact of grazing and firewood collection, this species should be evaluated as Endangered at least under Criterion B1. Read full species entry >

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Pherosphaera fitzgeraldii (F.Muell.) F.Muell. ex Hook.f.

Native to a very small area in the Blue Mountains of Australia where threats include pollution, invasive plants species and extreme fire events Read full species entry >

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