The negative impacts of residential and commercial development on conifers is so severe that it has led to conifer species becoming Critically Endangered. Ironically, the very system put in place to protect biodiversty, such as national parks, can have a negative impact on biodiversity. Here the most detrimental impacts can be from the visiting public by bringing an increased risk of fire and the introduction of harmful pests and diseases. As a result of an explosive growth rates in the human population over the last 50 years there has been a steady drift of people from the city centres into urban areas. It is estimated that 60% of the Earth's population will live in urban areas by 2030. Hence these increasing population densities and mounting development pressures are causing large tracks of land in the immediate surroundings of urban areas undergoing a process of what is known as urbanisation. This phenomenon directly alters forest ecosystems by removing or fragmenting forest cover. It indirectly alters forest ecosystems by modifying hydrology, altering nutrient cycling, modifying disturbance regimes, and changing atmospheric conditions. 

<em>Tetraclinis articulata</em>, Malta

Tetraclinis articulata, Malta© M.Gardner, RBGE

Taxa in the category - Fire:

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Abies delavayi subsp. fansipanensis (Q.P.Xiang) Rushforth

This subspecies, described in 1997, is restricted to a single mountain in Northern Việt Nam. The main threats are its small population size and restricted distribution which make it potentially susceptible to stochastic events.  Read full species entry >

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Abies fabri (Mast.) W. G. Craib

Endemic to south-central China where acid rain is the most serious threat and is causing decline or death to many of the trees Read full species entry >

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Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.

Distributed in three States of eastern USA but as a result of severe infestation from the Balsam woolly adelgid, only one population remains unaffected Read full species entry >

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Abies hidalgensis Debreczy, Rácz & Guizar

Endemic to the State of Hidalgo in eastern Mexico where fire is a potential threat to the small population Read full species entry >

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Abies kawakamii (Hayata) T.Itô

A subtropical alpine fir restricted to a few areas in Taiwan. Climate change is likely to have a significant impact on this species. Currently it is assessed as Near Threatened Read full species entry >

Mature cones
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Abies nebrodensis (Lojac.) Mattei

A narrow endemic native to the Madonie Mountains of Sicily where the entire population consists of only 30 individuals. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo Boiss.

The Spanish fir has two subspecies distributed in southern Spain and northern Morocco where threats include fire, grazing and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo var. marocana (Trabut) Ceballos & Bolanos

The Moroccan fir is restricted to two small forests in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco where over a period of 60 years it has suffered a 70% decline. Read full species entry >

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