Abies ziyuanensis L.K. Fu & S.L. Mo

Pinaceae

Endemic to south-east China where the present-day threats are landslides and overgrazing by sheep and cattle.

Associated Names:

Distribution

Restricted to south-east China from NE Guangxi (Rongshui Xian, Yuanbao Shan), and SW Hunan (Ziyuan Xian, Xingni, Chenbu).

The entire population is estimated to number fewer than 2000 plants. In Guangxi there are two small subpopulations with mostly mature individuals. Seedlings and saplings have recently been located at one site.

Habitat and Ecology

Abies ziyuanensis is a rare fir occurring on the highest mountains in Guangxi and on the border with Hunan, in a narrow belt between 1650m to 1750 metres above sea-level. These mountains have a cool, very wet climate, with a mean annual temperature between 9.2º–12ºC, and a winter period of four to five months (November–March) in which the mean temperature is between -3º to -5º C (min. -10º). The weather is usually cloudy, with much fog, the annual precipitation is 2100–2400mm and snow lasts from December through March. Abies ziyuanensis occurs, together with other conifers, scattered in a mixed forest dominated by deciduous broad-leaved trees. Above 1700m on Yuanbao Shan it is replaced by A. yuanbaoshanensis.

Conservation Status

Global status

Endangered B1ab(iii); C2a(i)

Global rationale

The extent of occurrence is less than 5000km², it is known from four locations which are severely fragmented and there is continuing decline in the quality of the habitat due to a number of threats such as landslides and overgrazing by sheep and cattle. Furthermore, the entire population consist on fewer than 2000 mature individuals and there are fewer than 250 individuals in the largest subpopulation. It is therefore listed as Endangered.

Global threats

This species is only known from less than five localities, some in close proximity. As it occurs lower on the mountains, it was cut for timber in the past, but this has now mostly ceased. Present threats are landslides and overgrazing by sheep and cattle.

Conservation Actions

Some subpopulations occur in protected areas such as the Yinzhulaoshan Provincial Nature Reserve in North Guangxi.