Dacrydium pectinatum de Laub.

Podocarpaceae

Native to China and several countries in South-east Asia where deforestation has dramatically reduced the population

Associated Names:

mélo, malur, melur, tjemantan and sempilor

Distribution

Has a wide diistribution in China: Hainan; Malaysia: Sabah, Sarawak; Indonesia: Kalimantan (incl. Karimata & Natuna Islands), the island of Pulau Belitung off the coast of Sumatera and a few isolated localities in the Philippines. The major part of its distribution is in the lowland forests of Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan.

Fragmentation of subpopulations is due naturally to its occurrence on several major islands, but is more recently exacerbated by conversion to other land use such as palm oil plantations

Habitat and Ecology

Dacrydium pectinatum is a species of lowland to montane rainforests, where it occurs as scattered individual trees at altitudes from near sea level to 1500 metres above sea-level; above 600–800 m trees become scarce. More dense stands or even pure stands of this species are restricted to nutrient-poor soils like shallow, leached sands or to swamps with peat formation above the water table. The forest on nutrient-poor sandy soils are known as kerangas and the poorest sites may only support 'heath forest' dominated by this conifer and Gymnostoma (Casuarinaceae) which looks in habit like a conifer. In Sabah, D. pectinatum may occur on ultrabasic soils supporting an open, low vegetation of shrubs and ferns, where trees remain small.

Conservation Status

Global status

Endangered A4acd

Global rationale

Decline has certainly occurred in the past due to deforestation, but most of the decline is occurring at present and/or projected in the future. This affects the lowland subpopulations especially as a result of conversion of lowland forests to oil palm plantations in Sarawak and Sabah. Deforestation elsewhere comes on top of that. We have based our estimate of the rate of decline under A4 for a period of 70 years from 1980 to 2050.

Global threats

Massive conversion of lowland forest (kerangas) on the coastal plains of Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan to oil palm plantations has reduced this species probably to 20% of its former AOO. This threat is ongoing and may result in total disappearance in those areas given over to oil palms (Curran et al., 2004). The species also occurs in low montane forest, where it is threatened by deforestation related to (shifting) agriculture. Logging affects the species particularly in Hainan, where it can reach greater size, but also in Kalimantan.

Conservation Actions

In Hainan one location is within a protected area (Mt. Jianfengling) and another (Mt. Diaoluoshan) is protected under a recently imposed logging ban. Conservation efforts are required in the other parts of its range.