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Austrocedrus chilensis

Austrocedrus chilensis is a long-lived conifer species capable of living for up to 1,500 years. It has many present-day threats including harmful pathogens, grazing, habitat loss through natural or human-set fires, invasive non-native tree species, establishment of plantation trees and hydroelectric schemes. Even though it has an estimated area of occupancy (AOO) of 1,860 km2 which is within the 2,000 km2 threshold for listing as Vulnerable, for the majority of its global distribution, of which 75% of its AOO occurs in Argentina, there is no net loss of individuals due to good regeneration after disturbance. It has therefore been assessed as Near Threatened as it almost qualifies for listing under criterion B2ab(i,ii,iii,v). Endemic to Argentina and Chile where it is mainly confined to the Andes. In Argentina it occurs in the Andes between Prov. Neuquén and Prov. Chubut. It has a scattered natural distribution from 36° 30' and 39° 30'S and more continuously between 39° 30'S and 43° 35'S, along a 60-80 km wide strip (Seibert 1982). In Chile it occurs in both the Andes and in the Coastal Cordillera. In the Andes it is found in a series of disjunct populations from Region V (Province Los Andes 32° 29'S), to Region X (Province Palena, 34º 38'S) in an altitudinal range of between 250-2,200 m. In the Coastal Cordillera it occurs infrequently in a few scattered locations between Region VIII (Province Arauco 37º 30'S) and Region X (Province Valdivia 40º 20'S) where its altitudinal range is between 100-500 m (Hechenleitner et al. 2005). It has an estimated total area of occupancy (AOO) of 1,860 km2 (Chile is 449 km2 (Catastro dataset, 1999)); Argentina 1,411 km2 (Rusch et al. 2002). Towards the western end of the range of Austrocedrus in Argentina, particularly in peri-urban areas there has been decrease over in the past 50-60 years due to illegal cutting. However, in the east of its range, towards the steppe vegetation, there has been a noticeable expansion in its range and this trend represents an overall net gain for Austrocedrus in Argentina. In contrast, in Chile there is a net loss (Le Quesne pers. comm.).
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Abies veitchii

Despite the Veitch’s Fir (Abies veitchii) being restricted to high elevations, its distribution and regeneration appear to guarantee the survival of this species. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. It makes pure forest on high mountains with large individuals and wide distribution at the core area in Central Honshu. But, in some low altitude mountains such as Ohdaigahara, the population size is small and decreasing. The 'typical' variety of this species grows on high mountains at elevations between 1,200 m and 2,800 m asl [reported from as low as 1,050 m (Wilson 1916)]. The soils are usually of volcanic origin, podzolic and well drained. The climate is cool and wet, with annual precipitation between 1,000 mm and 2,500 mm, and with cold, snowy winters; frequent typhoons cause destruction of the forest in most places before it reaches an age of 250 to 300 years (Franklin et al. 1979). This variety is usually mixed with other conifers, e.g. Abies mariesii, Picea jezoensis ssp. hondoensis, Larix kaempferi, Thuja standishii, Pinus parviflora, at the highest elevations Pinus pumila, and the ubiquitous Tsuga diversifolia. The most common broad-leaved trees are Betula ermanii, Sorbus commixta, Prunus nipponica, and Acer spp. at lower elevations, and Betula corylifolia near the tree limit. Veitch's Fir is a relatively small tree which yields timber of low grade, mainly used for the manufacture of paper pulp. It is fairly common in cultivation, as an amenity tree in parks and gardens and in collections (arboreta). This species is known from several protected areas.
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Abies squamata

This species was exploited in the past for its timber and it is estimated that there has been at least a 30% population reduction in the past three generations (150 years). It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable. Recorded from S Gansu, S Qinghai (Baima Xian), W Sichuan, and E Xizang [Tibet] (Markam Xian) in China. A subalpine species of the high mountains of western China, where it occurs between 3,500 m and 4,500 m asl [3,000-4,700 m according to Liu (1971)] making it one of the highest reaching mountain trees in the world. The soils are commonly grey-brown mountain podzols or lithosols. The climate is cold, relatively dry (arid in E Xizang), but usually perpetual snow at higher elevations provides sufficient moisture throughout the year. It is a constituent of mixed coniferous high altitude forests, with among other species Abies recurvata, A. fargesii var. faxoniana, Picea likiangensis var. rubescens, P. asperata, P. linzhiensis (in E Xizang), Larix potaninii and possibly also Tsuga forrestii. There are very few broad-leaved trees at these high elevations, Betula albosinensis and B. utilis var. prattii being the most common. At these high altitudes forests form isolated patches on favourable sites, surrounded by treeless subalpine vegetation. Direct exploitation of the timber in these forest remnants is easily unsustainable due to very slow growth and past exploitation has led to a decline of this and other conifer tree species in these forests. Flaky Fir is a potential timber tree but its occurrence at extremely high altitudes in inaccessible places prevents it from being exploited commercially. Ernest Wilson collected this fir with its peculiar bark in June 1904 in the Daxue Shan of western Sichuan, China, when on a plant hunting expedition for Veitch & Sons in England. Although it was successfully introduced in Europe and North America, it has remained rare in cultivation, restricted to a few collections in botanic gardens and arboreta, where it tends to be a slow grower. Its unusual bark has an attraction to dendrologists, but unless renewed seed collecting from wild sources can be resumed, this species may gradually disappear from horticulture. The Government of China has recently imposed a logging ban in western China.
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Abies spectabilis

Abies spectabilis as a wide distribution from East Nepal into eastern Afghanistan and is usually the dominant tree in the stands but may occur with other conifers or broadleafed trees. The forest has suffered severe depletion, especially at the lower elevations, from logging and deforestation. A population decline of approximately 25% over the past three generation has occurred. This tree is therefore listed as Near Threatened approaching Vulnerable A2. This species is found in Afghanistan (Hindu Kush), Pakistan (Karakoram Range), China (W Xizang [Tibet]), India (Kashmir Himalaya) and Nepal ( from the Milke Danda ridge westwards). The species has a wide distribution from East Nepal into eastern Afghanistan. It occurs along the southern side of the Himalaya and outlying ridges, forming forests at higher elevation. Abies spectabilis is usually the dominant tree in the stands but may occur with other conifers or broadleafed trees such as Betula and Acer in parts of the range. Abies spectabilis is the dominant tree in the forests of the central and western Himalaya, especially from c. 3,000 m to 4,000 m, with occasional occurrences on ridges below this height. It needs cool moist conditions at the roots, thus growing better on north facing slopes and often giving way to grass or shrubs on south facing ones. The forest has suffered severe depletion, especially at the lower elevations, from logging and deforestation. The species is reported to have been lost from the easternmost occurrence in East Nepal in the past 20 years. Deforestation and conversion of land to agriculture is the largest threat, but logging, if followed either by fire or grazing can also lead to the loss of habitat for the species. Abies spectabilis provides a useful timber which is available in large sizes.ű
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Abies sibirica

As the Siberian Fir (Abies sibirica) is very widespread and there are no major threats it is assessed as Least Concern. This species is found across N Russia and Siberia, from Archangel'sk eastward to the Amur River, southward to the mountains along the Sino-Russian border and the Tien Shan Range. It is also found in Xingjiang, China, and in Kirgyzstan. In some areas it forms extensive forests consisting of many thousands of trees. Abies sibirica is widespread across the Siberian taiga, where it occurs from near sea level on the northern plains to 2,000 m asl in the mountains. It remains well south of the arctic tree limit in Siberia, in fact it is more common in W Siberia and the Altai Mountains, which have a less severe climate. The soils are usually of alluvial origin, podzolic, and in the mountains also calcareous, well drained and free of permafrost. The climate is cold continental, but not extreme in most parts of the range of the species. There are pure forests, but more often it is mixed with other conifers, e.g. Picea obovata, Larix gmelinii, in the mountains also L. sibirica and Pinus sibirica; common broad-leaved trees or shrubs are Betula pendula, Populus tremula, Sorbus aucuparia and Viburnum opulus. In the southwestern part of its range other broad leaved trees are mixed in: Tilia cordata, Ulmus scabra, and Acer platanoides. Siberian Fir is an economically important timber tree. Its wood is used in light-frame construction and for pulpwood. Planted in regions with mild winters it can be damaged by 'late' frost; it is also intolerant of air pollution. In Central and E Europe it has been introduced as an amenity tree and several 'forms' and cultivars are known. This species is known from several protected areas although the vast majority of the population occurs outside of those areas.
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Abies fabri

As both of Abies fabri's constituent subspecies have been assessed as Vulnerable as a result of past and continuing decline, the species as a whole is also assessed as Vulnerable based on an overall population reduction of at least 30% over the past 150 years (three generations) due to the impacts of over-exploitation and acid rain. The type location of Abies fabri is on Mt. Emei (Emei Shan), a mountain SW of Chengdu in Sichuan. The species occurs there at elevations between 2,000 m and 3,100 m a.s.l. [K.D. Rushforth, pers. comm.; Craib (1919) has given a range between 3,000 m and 3,600 m a.s.l.] in a humid, cool climate (mean temp. in Jan. -4ºC, in July +12.6ºC, annual precipitation >2,000 mm). There are some nearly pure stands and scattered trees on Mt. Emei, but elsewhere in W Sichuan the species occurs mixed with Picea likiangensis, Tsuga chinensis and occasionally Larix potaninii. The type locality is the Emei (Omei) Shan to the south west of Chengdu which is a protected site, as is the Erlang Shan, Wa Shan and Wawu Shan. Other forests are not in protected areas and have suffered logging over the past century. However, the populations near the Sichuan pendi, in particular, are vulnerable to acid rain from industries near Chengdu. Acid rain appears to be the most serious threat to the species, causing decline or death of trees observed on Emei shan between 1980 (KR observation) and 2009 (Qiaoping Xiang record from husband and students). This species is not known to be a commercially important timber tree, presumably due to its restricted occurrence (protected from exploitation on the 'holy' mountain Emei Shan). Away from protected areas it may have been locally used for construction. It is uncommon in cultivation and mostly restricted to arboreta and botanic gardens. The mountain Emei Shan is a principal ‘holy mountain’ in Chinese Buddhism, consequently this species enjoys protection from exploitation there. The Government of China has also recently imposed a logging ban in western China.
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Abies sachalinensis

As the assessment of the most widespread and abundant variety of this species is Least Concern, the species as a whole also falls into this category. May form extensive forests. Despite logging the population is thought to be stable. Sakhalin Fir and its varieties occur from near sea level on the coast to an elevation of 1,650 m a.s.l. in the mountains. The soils are well drained but moist throughout the year, due to abundant precipitation in a cool to cold, maritime climate. In the north of its range the species is more common at elevations between 800 m and 1,100 m, where it is mixed with Picea jezoensis, P. glehnii, Larix gmelinii var. japonica or Pinus pumila at the highest limit of trees. At lower elevations pure stands occur, below 800 m broad leaved-trees, e.g. Betula ermanii, Acer spp., Quercus mongolica var. grossesserata, Castanea crenata, Kalopanax septemlobus, and Magnolia hypoleuca become more abundant. No specific threats have been identified at the species level. Old growth stands (and forests in general) are under increasing pressure from logging in most parts of its range outside of Japan. This species is mainly logged for the manufacture of wood pulp used in the paper industry; its timber is of low quality for construction and carpentry. As an amenity tree it is little used outside the cool to cold maritime climate of northern Japan and the Russian Far East. It is in cultivation in botanic gardens and arboreta in Russia, northern Europe and New England, U.S.A., but rarely survives to maturity in countries with mild winters, where it will not go into prolonged winter dormancy and is susceptible to spring frosts This species is known from several protected areas.
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Abies religiosa

This is the most widespread and abundant species of Abies in Mexico; its extent of occurrence and probably its area of occupancy are beyond the thresholds for a threatened category. There is likely to have been some impact from logging but this has not resulted in sufficient reduction to fall within the threatened thresholds. On the available information it is assessed as Least Concern May form large stands. Overall, the population is thought to be decreasing. Abies religiosa is a high mountain species, occurring between 1,200 m and 4,100 m a.s.l., but more commonly between 2100 m and 3,100 m, usually on well drained mountain soils of volcanic origin. The climate is cool, moist oceanic on ranges near the coast, colder with more snow in the interior, with abundant precipitation. There are pure stands of this fir at the higher elevations, but it is often mixed with Pinus montezumae, Pinus hartwegii, in the north of its range also with Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca; at lower elevations Quercus spp., Alnus acuminata, Prunus serotina, and Arbutus spp. become more abundant. Shrubs are e.g. Vaccinium spp., Andromeda spp., Ribes spp., and Fuchsia spp. This species has a very special ecological significance since it serves as the hibernation tree (in a very limited part of its range in south-central Mexico) for many millions of Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus) yearly making one of the most spectacular displays in all of nature. Logging almost certainly has had a negative impact on this species in some areas, as has general deforestation that has occurred especially in Guatemala and southern Mexico. It is difficult to quantify this, but a conservative estimate would be a past reduction of 10% over three generations, or about a century. This species is present in some protected areas, but most of the population is outside such forest reserves. In Guatemala and Mexico the timber of this species is used for light indoor construction and general carpentry. Wholesale logging is unlikely to occur because this tree has traditional religious significance to Native Americans. With the conversion to (Roman Catholic) Christianity and hispanization of the populations of this part of Latin America these traditions were incorporated into the new modes of worship and at times of religious festivals churches are being decorated with the foliage of this fir.
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