Abies homolepis var. umbellata (Mayr) EH Wilson is sometimes recognised on the basis of its green cones and slightly exserted bracts whereas the typical form has purple cones (Debreczy, Z. & I. Racz 2011). This taxon may represent a hybrid with Abies firma as it only occurs where the two species' ranges overlap (Tsumura & Suyama 1998). If that is the case then it would not be eligible for the IUCN Redlist as that excludes natural hybrids. Currently this variety is assessed as Data Deficient.
Nikko fir is not an important timber tree as its range is limited and it occurs at high altitudes. It is fairly widely planted as an ornamental tree in Japan as well as in Europe, where it appears to be one of the least demanding species in the genus.
References and further reading
- Debreczy, Z. & I. Racz 2011. Conifers around the world. Volume 1. Budapest: DendroPress Ltd.
- Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden
- Katsuki, T., Zhang, D, Rushforth, K. & Farjon, A. 2013. Abies homolepis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42288A2969985. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T42288A2969985.en. Downloaded on 05 July 2017
- Tsumura, Y., Y. Suyama 1998. Differentiation of mitochondrial DNA polymporphisms in populations of five Japanese Abies species. Evolution 52(4):1031-1042.