Larix potaninii var. chinensis (Beissn.) L.K. Fu & Nan Li

Pinaceae

Endemic to north eastern China where heavy logging for firewood has much depleted the population

Associated Names:

Distribution

Endemic to north-eastern China in S Shaanxi (Taibai Shan, Foping). Here it appears to be fairly restricted being confined to remote areas. There are some pure stands of larch forest but mostly very sporadic occurrences. The population trend is unknown.

Habitat and Ecology

This variety occurs at 2600 to 3600 metres above sea-level and can form dense stands.

Human Uses

Chinese Larch is an important timber tree in the western mountains of China. Its wood is durable and can be used for construction purposes, mining props and railway sleepers, as well as milled for veneer and pulped for the paper industry. It is rarely used in forestry plantations outside China and for amenity planting.

Conservation Status

Global status

Vulnerable A2d

Global rationale

This is a fairlry restricted taxon and its population has been reduced by between 30 and 49% over the past three generations (75 years) as a result of exploitation by people for firewood. It is therefore listed as Vulnerable. The taxon is now mostly confined to remote areas where it is less accessible, this together with the ban on logging should help to reduce any further declines.

Global threats

This variety has been heavily logged at the lower elevations.

Conservation Actions

Recorded to occur in two nature reserves: Taibai Shan and Foping. There has been a logging ban in place since 2001.