Keteleeria davidiana var. formosana

Pinaceae

Restricted to Taiwan where there are only a few subpopulations that are in decline due to logging and expansion of agriculture and urban areas

Distribution

Taiwan (Taipei Co., Taitung Co.). Known from a few localities at the northeastern end of the island. There is also a disjunct occurrence to the south in Taitung county.

Occurs in the Pinglin Nature Reserve and there are 200 plants (mostly old mature plants and with little signs of any natural regeneration). The subpopulation in Taitung county comprises 500 mature individuals (average d.b.h. up to 80 cm). Only two seedlings were recently found in this subpopulation.

Habitat and Ecology

Lowland forest.

Conservation Status

Global status

Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v)

Global rationale

This variety has a small extent of occurrence (3,622 km²) and very small area of occupancy (24 km²), The population is severely fragmented and it is known from about four to five locations and there is continuing decline because of agricultural activities and possibly over-collection of cones by researchers. The taxon is therefore listed as Endangered.

Global threats

The northern localities may well be impacted by human activities as they are close to Taipei, so it is assumed that there is continuing decline as a result of some logging, and expansion of agricultural and urban areas. There also appears to be poor regeneration as very few seedlings have been observed. The reason for this is unknown. The local people near to the Pinglin Nature Reserve are clearing the habitat to grow tea, and also small-scale fruit farming. The seed cones have been collected frequently by researchers which may have had some impact on regeneration.

Conservation Actions

Pinglin Nature Reserve has been set up specifically to help conserve the taxon. It is also protected under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Law. Further research into the range, population size and trends and nature of the threats is required.