Residential and commercial development

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 - Residential and commercial development:

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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 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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Amentotaxus argotaenia (Hance) Pilg

A widespread species that only ever occurs in small isolated populations. It is currently assessed as Near Threatened due to range wide deforestation. Read full species entry >

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Amentotaxus assamica D.K.Ferguson

Poorly known species endemic to India where threats include forest clearance for agriculture, logging, firewood collection and infrastructure development Read full species entry >

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Calocedrus macrolepis Kurz

A widespread species that has been exploited for timber and resin. Difficulties in estimating the extent of its decline and a lack of information about its staus is some parts of its range have resulted in an assessment of Near Threatened. Read full species entry >

Foliage
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Cedrus libani A.Rich.

Native to mountains adjacent to the north-eastern Mediterranean coast in Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. Threats include pathogens, fire, urbanisation, selective felling, activities associated with winter sports and grazing. Read full species entry >

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Cephalotaxus hainanensis H.L.Li

Restricted to the island of Hainan, China where the main threat has been exploitation of the bark and leaves for the valuable medicinal extracts. Habitat conversion and deforestation are now the most current threats Read full species entry >

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