Podocarpus polyspermus de Laub.

Podocarpaceae

Endemic to New Caledonia where it is only known from four locations. It is threatened by fire and mining

Description

Habit

Small tree 5–15m tall; dbh to 25cm. Bark fissured and scaly, light or dark brown. Branches spreading and rising up, forming an irregular crown

Foliage

Leaves crowded on mature trees, more or less erect or spreading, linear-lanceolate, 5–12 x 0.6–0.8cm, straight or sometimes falcate, gradually tapering to a petiole at base, leathery, apex acute or obtuse, grey-green or dark green above, gull green below.. Midrib prominent on both sides.

Cones

Male pollen-cones axillary, solitary, sessile, subtended by triangular, keeled bud-scales, 20–25 x 3.5–5mm. Female seed-cones axillary, solitary on a 5–10mm long peduncles; receptacles swelling 10–13 x 8–9mm long, red and succulent, smade up of 3–5 bracts subtended by two spreading or recurved bracts.

Distribution

Endemic to New Caledonia where it is known from four mountains on Grand Terre in Province Nord

Habitat and Ecology

This species is restricted to dense montane forests. It occurs on ultramafic and schist substrates between 400 to 900m above sea level. On Mt Paéoua it is associated with Araucaria montana and Podocarpus sylvestris.

Conservation Status

Global status

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

Global rationale

Podocarpus polyspermus is as assessed as Endangered because it is known from fewer than four locations, has an extent of occurrence estimated to be between 1400 and 2,650km² and has an area of occupancy less than 40km². One location and subpopulation is within an active mining site. Other subpopulations are vulnerable to fire.

Global threats

Mining is a direct threat to one of the subpopulations at Paéoua. The increasing frequency of fires is also a threat to the habitat.

Conservation Actions

This species is only protected in Nodela Reserve on Me Maoya.