Pseudotsuga sinensis var. sinensis

Pinaceae

In China and Việt Nam this variety is threatened due to logging and habitat loss as a result of forest clearance for agriculture and grazing.

Associated Names:

Distribution

In China the typical variety is sporadically distributed in southern Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Guizhou, Hubei (west), Hunan (north), northern Jiangxi, southern Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan and Zhejiang. The IUCN Redlist includes populations of Pseudotsuga wilsoniana from Taiwan with P. sinensis. In Việt Nam P. sinensis is the most common conifer in the karst areas stretching from Ha Giang to Cao Bang and Lang Son (Bac Son). These subpopulations are sometimes identified as P. sinensis var. brevifolia.

The Chinese population has been estimated at several million but it is uncertain how many of these are mature individuals. In Việt Nam the total population size is considerably less although at each of the specific localities where it has been found, it is likely that other trees also occur on surrounding ridges and peaks. However, the majority of the known populations have been subject illegal logging and there are few mature trees remaining in these localities. While some sites show recent regeneration it is uncertain if the young trees will survive to maturity.

Habitat and Ecology

Pseudotsuga sinensis var. sinensis occurs in low to medium high mountains at various elevations. In SE China it occurs between 600 to 1200m, in Taiwan between 1000 and 2700m, in Sichuan and Yunnan it may be found above 3000m, the highest record is 3300 metres above sea-level. In Việt Nam it has been recorded as low as 400 metres above sea-level. It also occurs on a variety of soil types, ranging from red-yellow soils in SE China to thin humus rich soils of the karst limestone areas in northern Việt Nam. Rainfall ranges from 1000 to 2000mm and climates may be temperate or warm temperate. In China it occurs with many broadleaf species and conifers such as Tsuga chinensis, T. dumosa, Picea brachytyla var. complanata. In Việt Nam it occurs along conifer dominated ridges with Tsuga chinensis, Xanthocyparis vietnamensis, Fokienia hodginsii, Calocedrus rupestris, Amentotaxus spp, Podocarpus spp and Nageia fleuryi. Trees may develop broad spreading crowns or a relatively narrow open candelabra shape, depending on exposure and location.

Human Uses

The timber is used for construction, bridge building, furniture and wood fiber. Very large trees are rare due to logging.

Conservation Status

Global status

Vulnerable A2cd

Global threats

This variety has been heavily logged in parts of its range there has also been loss of habitat due clearance for expanding agriculture. A similar situation exists in Việt Nam.

Conservation Actions

This variety is recorded from a number of protected areas throughout its range: illegal logging is a problem in some areas. In Vietnam it is known from at least one protected area (Bat Dai Son) as well as in other areas that have been proposed as nature reserves (Thang Heng). The Vietnamese populations may also be important as they represent the most southern distribution of this genus in Asia, they may be a distinct genetic provenance. To date no detailed studies have investigated this aspect.