Abies recurvata var. recurvata

Pinaceae

Distributed in two provinces in China where logging has reduced the size of its population

Associated Names:

Distribution

China: SW Gansu Sichuan provinces,where it forms forests in a restricted area along the Min Jiang in northern Sichuan and just into southern Gansu. Historic records from Xizang need further verification.

Habitat and Ecology

Min Fir is a high mountain species of SW China, occurring between 2300 and 3600 metres above sea-level or even higher. It usually grows on grey-brown mountain podzols. The climate is cold, moist, with annual precipitation between 700 to 1000mm. Both varieties are usually constituents of a mixed coniferous forest type, with among other species A. squamata, Picea likiangensis var. rubescens, P. asperata, and Larix potaninii; Picea purpurea and Abies fargesii var. faxoniana are mainly found with the 'typical' variety, and A. fabri with var. ernestii. Betula albosinensis is the only common broad-leaved tree at higher elevations, but lower down the slopes other genera, e.g. Acer, Populus, but also different conifer species, e.g. Tsuga chinensis, Picea brachytyla var. complanata and Pinus armandii become more abundant.

Human Uses

A timber tree in western China, heavily exploited until recently when the Chinese government finally decided to preserve its remaining old growth forests in the western provinces. Its timber was used mainly for construction and carpentry work. Although not common in cultivation it makes a desirable tree for cultivation in western gardens which would enhance its ex-situ conservation

Conservation Status

The Government of China has recently imposed a logging ban in western China. This taxon may be included in some protected areas.

Conservation Actions

Global status

Vulnerable A2d

Global rationale

A past reduction of more than 30%, but less than 50% is inferred to have occurred following extensive logging prior to the introduction of a logging ban in 1998. The reduction may been greater than 50% but more information is needed to confirm this. Consequently, this variety is assessed as Vulnerable.

Global threats

Past logging has reduced the population. Future threats include acid rain and possibly climate change.