Picea asperata Mast.

Pinaceae

Native to China where throughout its distribution it has suffered decline in its popualtion due to logging. Three varieties are recognised.

Associated Names:

Distribution

China: Gansu, Ningxia (Helan Shan), E Qinghai, SW Shaanxi, Sichuan. The population decreased due to logging. Some decline is suspected to be ongoing

Habitat and Ecology

Picea asperata occurs in the high mountains of W central China, at elevations between 1500 m and 3800 m a.s.l., usually above 2400 m in Sichuan. The soils are grey-brown mountain podzols. The climate is continental, subalpine, with cold winters and dry summers (annual precipitation less than 500 mm). It forms mostly pure forests on N-facing slopes, or mixtures with other species of Picea, in the south of Gansu it may be mixed with Abies nephrolepis. Betula albo-sinensis is the most common broad-leaved associate.

Human Uses

Picea asperata is an important timber tree in China. The wood is mainly used for pulpwood and to a lesser extent for construction. Old growth stands of this potentially large spruce have been reduced to less accessible mountain slopes and valleys and plantation forestry has begun to replace the natural stands as a resource for spruce timber, but as yet on a scale that is incapable of meeting growing demands

Conservation Status

Global status

Vulnerable A2cd

The assessment of the entire species is driven by that of its most common and widespread nominate variety, which meets criterion A for Vulnerable due to past logging. The logging ban, though imposed since more than a decade, should at least have slowed the reduction substantially, but we suspect it has not stopped it entirely. The species as a whole is therefore considered to be Vulnerable.

Conservation Actions

The government of China has imposed a logging ban since 1998 on the conifer forests of western China.