Abies yuanbaoshanensis Y.J.Lu & L.K.Fu

Pinaceae

Endemic to south-east China where the population is only about 600 individuals

Associated Names:

Distribution

China: N. Guangxi province. A relatively recently discovered species confined to Yuanbao Shan in Rongshui Xian county which is outside the general range of Abies species. The whole population is within an area of 4ha.

The population is estimated to number 589 plants and the population structure is skewed to old (senescent) individuals and young ones, with very few middle-aged plants.

Habitat and Ecology

The highest mountains in Guangxi, like Yuanbao Shan, have a very cool, wet climate, with annual precipitation exceeding 2000mm. The summers are cool and cloudy, the winters last four to five months and bring abundant snow from December through March. This species occurs in mixed deciduous-coniferous forest with other conifers (e.g., Tsuga chinensis) and broad-leaved trees dominated by members of the Fagaceae; the Abies trees are very scattered.

Conservation Status

Global status

Critically Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v)

Global rationale

Abies yuanbaoshanensis is assessed as Critically Endangered due to its very restricted distribution and a continuing decline in mature individuals. There is a need for ex-situ conservation and for research on the measures required to prevent it from going extinct.

Global threats

This species has an extremely limited distribution, distant from other species, and is only known from one small area in Guangxi Province. The population was impacted by a severe winter in 2008 and a number of trees died.

Conservation Actions

The population occurs within a protected area. Further research is required into this species’ threats and what measures should be taken to rescue this species from going extinct. There is a need for ex-situ conservation.