Araucariaceae

Agathis borneensis Warb.

Native to South-east Asia where it has become Endangered due to deforestation and selective logging for its highly prized wood.

Distribution

Recorded from Indonesia (Kalimantan and Sumatera); Malaysia  (Malay Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak); and from Brunei. The extent of occurrence for this species is estimated to well exceed 20,000km². No estimates for the area of occupancy are available. There are more than 10 locations.

This species is widespread in Borneo and the southern half of the Malay Peninsula, with additional occurrences in Sumatera. No estimates of the global population size are available. The population trend is downwards due to widespread logging and deforestation.

Habitat and Ecology

Agathis borneensis occurs in lowland to upland tropical rainforest as scattered emergent trees and in low lying kerangas forest on sandy or sometimes peaty soils, where it can form extensive pure stands.

Human Uses

This species is one of the most valuable and sought after timber trees in Southeast Asia and is traded on the international market. This species (and A. dammara) are planted on a fairly large scale in forestry plantations in Jawa, but only locally on a small scale within its native range.

Conservation Status

Global status

Endangered A4cd

Global rationale

Deforestation and targeted logging have been ongoing for many years, have accelerated in recent decades, and are continuing to deplete the global population of this species, especially in Borneo and Sumatera which form the major part of its range. An estimate of 50% reduction between 1950 and 2025 is probably on the conservative side. This puts the species in the category Endangered.

Global threats

This species has been very heavily over-exploited in many areas and as a result its total area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated to have at least been reduced by half and this is still ongoing. Stands covering an estimated total of 30,000ha discovered in Kalimantan in the 1930s had effectively been logged out by the mid 1960s. Most stands outside the few well protected nature reserves (mostly situated in the Malay Peninsula and in Sabah) have been seriously depleted and it is doubted that regeneration will be sufficient to restore the losses. Habitat degradation has caused further reductions in recruitment of young trees to replace felled ones.

Conservation Actions

This species is present in several protected areas, but these only cover a tiny proportion of the global population and are skewed geographically to parts of Malaysia; in Indonesia there are few reserves relevant to this species.

References and further reading

  1. de Laubenfels, D. J. (1988). Coniferales. P. 337-453 in Flora Malesiana, Series I, Vol. 10. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.
  2. Farjon, A. (2013). Agathis borneensis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 05 July 2013.
  3. Kitamura, K. &  Rahman., M.Y.B.A. (1992). Genetic diversity among natural populations of Agathis borneensis (Araucariaceae), a tropical rain forest conifer from Brunei Darussalam, Borneo, Southeast Asia. Canadian Jounal of Botany 70:1945-1949.
  4. Meijer-Drees, E. (1940). The genus Agathis in Malaysia. Bulletin Jardins Botanical Buitenzorg, Series 3, 16, 455-474.
  5. Whitmore, T.C. (1977). A first look at Agathis. Tropical Forestry Papers No. 11. University of Oxford Commonwealth Forestry Institute. 54p.
  6. Whitmore, T.C. (1980). A monograph of Agathis. Plant Systematics and Evolution 135: 41-69.

Entry information:

Entry author:

A.Farjon ·

Entry last edited:

13 Mar 2018

Recommended Citation:

A.Farjon, 2018, Agathis borneensis, from the website: ‘Threatened Conifers of The World’ (https://threatenedconifers.rbge.org.uk/conifers/agathis-borneensis). Downloaded on 2 July 2020.

Categorised in:

Araucariaceae, Endangered, Direct exploitation and Malesiana