Picea meyeri Rehd. & E.H.Wilson

Pinaceae

Distribution

Within China it has been recorded Hebei, Nei Monggol [Inner Mongolia], Shaanxi, Shanxi (Wutai Shan), Hebei (Xiao Wutai Shan, Wuling Shan). It may also occur in southern Gansu.

It is a principal component of the conifer forests on the Wutai and Xiao Wutai mountains and occurs in a broad belt across north central China. The overall population trend is decreasing.

Habitat and Ecology

Picea meyeri is a high montane to subalpine species, occurring at elevations between 1600 m and 2700 m a.s.l., often restricted to the N-facing slopes of the mountains. The soils are partly mountain brown earth, usually podzolized and non calcareous. The climate is cold, continental, especially in the western part of the range, with a moderate annual precipitation (500 to 800 mm). It grows in pure stands or mixed with Picea wilsonii, Abies nephrolepis, and Larix gmelinii var. principis rupprechtii, the latter at elevations above 2100 m a.s.l. on Wutai Shan.

Human Uses

Meyer's spruce is an important timber tree in northern China, harvested both from natural stands and from plantations. The wood is used for house building and other construction, foot bridges, poles, furniture making, and also, especially the plantation timber, for wood pulp used in industrial manufacturing. It is also used in dendroclimatological studies.

This species is in cultivation for afforestation and as an ornamental tree in arboreta, parks, and large gardens, in China and (as a garden tree only) in Europe and North America.

Conservation Status

Global Status and Rationale

Picea meyeri has suffered an estimated decline in area of occupancy of 25-30% within the last 100 years (two generations). It is therefore listed as Near Threatened until the next assessment (almost qualifies for listing as threatened under criterion A2cd).

Global Threats

Further loss of habitat following felling (including where non-local conifers are used in restocking) or conversion of forest to agriculture are likely to be the most serious threats.

Conservation Actions

The species is in a few protected areas. The ban on logging imposed by the Chinese Government in 2002 should reduce future habit loss.