Podocarpus nakaii Hayata

Podocarpaceae

Endemic to Taiwan where historically it has suffered greatly from general deforestation and more recently there has been removal of mature trees for horticultural use.

Associated Names:

Distribution

Taiwan (Chianghua Co.?, Nantou Co., Taichung Co.). Records from Chinghua Co. originate from collections made in the early 19th century. This taxon has not been recollected in that area since then. Subpopulations are small and isolated.

Habitat and Ecology

Podocarpus nakaii occurs scattered in broad-leaved (angiosperm) forests in the central mountains of Taiwan. These forests are dominated by the families Fagaceae and Lauraceae, with Theaceae and Magnoliaceae also prominent. Characteristic genera of trees are Cyclobalanopsis , Lithocarpus, Machilus, Cryptocarya, Schima, and Magnolia. The altitudinal range of this species rich evergreen forest type is from 700 to 1800 metres above sea-level. and it exists under a markedly monsoonal subtropical climate.

Human Uses

No uses have been recorded for this species; its wood was logged with other trees, and if of good size and shape would have been used for construction, carpentry, etc. It is probably in general cultivation, but it may masquerade under the name Podocarpus macrophyllus.

Conservation Status

Global status

Endangered B2ab(iii,v); C2a(i)

Global rationale

The most recent survey results indicate that Podocarpus nakaii has an area of occupancy less than 500km² (estimated to be a little as 64km²), is known from a maximum of five locations and there has been a recent decline in the number of individuals. The total population size is estimated to be more than 250 but much less than 2500 with no subpopulation having more than 250 individuals. Populations are under threat from increasing deforestation, agricultural activities and mature trees have been been uprooted for horticultural use. Consequently it is assessed as Endangered under Criteria B and C.

Global threats

This species although not specifically targeted by loggers as it is generally of only small to moderate size, has suffered greatly from general deforestation in the period after World War II. Much of the primary forest where P. nakaii occurred has gone, or it has been turned into secondary vegetation unsuitable for this species. A locality in Chianghua where W. R. Price collected the species in 1912 probably no longer has it growing there; Flora of Taiwan, ed. 2, 1: 565 (1994) only mentions Nantou for its distribution. There are also recent reports of the removal of mature trees for horticultural use.

Conservation Actions

This species is being actively monitored by the Taiwan Endemic Species Research Unit.