Invasive species

Direct exploitation occurs through general logging (deforestation), selective logging or the use of forest non-timber products (FNTP’s). General logging is the biggest threat to conifer species whereby forest habitats are often replaced by plantations, settlements or agricultural land. Selective logging involves the removal of individual tree species for their valuable timber, for charcoal production or fire wood. This practise is often considered to be a sustainable alternative to clear-cutting however, for every tree removed 30 more will become severely damaged because the practise of selective logging is inherently destructive. Conifers play an important role in the production of non-timber products, one example is the use of the foliage and bark of Taxus species for the production of the anti-cancer drug taxol. Although over-exploitation can lead to local extinction, the sustainable commercial and domestic use have the potential of increased incentives for forest conservation.

Fitzroya cupressoides

Fitzroya cupressoides© M.Gardner, RBGE

Taxa in the category - Invasive species:

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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 koreana E.H.Wilson

Endemic to four mountains in South Korea, the population suffers a range of threats including climate change, introduced pathogens and invasive native and non-native plants 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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Agathis montana de laub.

Endemic to the Mt. Panié range in northern New Caledonia where recent research has found that the decline and loss of old-growth trees is probably due to a combination of factors including root damage by feral pigs, pathogen attack and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria araucana (Molina) K. Koch

Endemic to southern Argentina and Chile where it mainly occurs in the Andes. Threats include fire, grazing and encroachment from commercial plantations of exotic species. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria heterophylla (Salisb.) Franco

Endemic to Australia (Norfolk Island Group) where historical logging and forest clearance significantly reduced the population. Today the main threats relate to the impacts of invasive non-native species. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria humboldtensis J. Buchholz

One of 13 species of Araucaria endemic to New Caledonia where it is restricted to less than five locations. There has been a recent decline in the health of some high altitude stands. Read full species entry >

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