Agathis moorei (Lindl.) Mast.

Araucariaceae

One of four Agathis species endemic to New Caledonia where it once had a widespread distribution on the mian island of Grande Terre but is now much reduced due to logging and landuse change.

Associated Names:

kaori blanc, géri, dicou and djeu

Description

Habit

Tree 30‒40m tall and 1m d.b.h., with a clear cylindrical bole to 18m; crown conical or rounded, becoming more open and irregular when mature. Bark smooth or rough with exfoliating scales peeling in irregular flakes, grey when mature.

Foliage

Leaves (mature) almost opposite, narrowly ovate-elliptic, 4.5‒7 x 0.8‒1.2cm leathery, multiveined, glabrous, apex obtuse, pale green or glaucous.

Cones

Male pollen-cones axillary, solitary, cylindrical, 2.5‒3 x 0.6‒0.9cm, with 4-8 pairs of overlapping bracts at their base, each pair at right angles to the pair next above or below, peduncles thick, 8‒12mm. Female seed-cones solitary, globose,10‒15 x 9‒12cm , green or glaucous green, brown when mature, very resinous. Seeds 15‒20 x 8‒10mm, with two unequal wings.

Taxonomic note

In this assessment, Agathis corbassonii is included with A. moorei. A. corbassonii was originally segregated on the basis of its very reddish brown bark and its narrow leaves which are often glaucous beneath. However, a recent revision (T.G. Waters, unpublished D.Phil thesis, Oxford 2008) strongly indicates that these characters are related to environmental conditions. Other characters such as numbers of bract scales in pollen cones fall within the range of those described for A. moorei (Farjon, 2010).

Distribution

Agathis moorei is endemic to New Caledonia where it ccurs in small subpopulations scattered throughout most of the main island of Grand Terre. The current extent of occurrence is estimated to be 7,394km². Herbarium records indicate that it was formerly more widespread. The total population is estimated to be less than 10,000 mature individuals. Continued logging throughout its range is estimated to lead to at least a 10% reduction of the population within the next three generations, probably within the next ten years.

Habitat and Ecology

A large emergent tree mainly restricted to areas of lowland rainforest that are mostly on non-ultramafic substrates. It occurs at altitudes ranging from 250 to 1,000m.

Conservation Status

Global status

Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v);C1

Global rationale

The current extent of of occurrence is estimated to be 7,394km². Herbarium records from sites that no longer exist indicate that it was formerly more widespread. Nine locations have been identified and within each of these there has been a decline in the area of occupancy and the quality of habitat. The total population is estimated to be less than 10,000 mature individuals. Continued logging throughout its range is estimated to lead to at least a 10% reduction of the population within the next three generations, probably mostly within the next ten years.

Global threats

Substantial declines have occurred in recent years due to overexploitation of the timber. Logging is continuing. An increase in fires and conversion of forest to other uses has led to increased habitat fragmentation and a lack of regeneration.

Conservation Actions

Very few subpopulations are within protected areas