Keteleeria fortunei (A.Murray bis) Carrière


A relatively widespread tree occurring across much of southeastern China at lower altitudes. Deforestation has had sufficient impact to warrant lisiting this species as Near Threatened.


Taxonomic Notes

The Flora of China recognises two additional varieties [var. cyclolepis (Flous) Silba and var. oblonga (W. C. Cheng & L. K. Fu) L. K. Fu & Nan Li] based on leaf sacr charatcers and small variations in shape and thickness of cone scale. These are not recognised on the IUCN Redlist.


Recorded from China: Fujian, N Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hong Kong, S Hunan, SW Jiangxi, SE Yunnan, Zhejiang; and Viet Nam. Records from northeast Vietnam may refer to K. davidiana.

Habitat and Ecology

Keteleeria fortunei occurs in the hills or low mountains of SE China, in the "red and yellow earth region" (Wang 1961), at elevations between 380 and 1,200 m a.s.l. The climate is humid, warm temperate to subtropical, with annual precipitation between 1,300 and 2,000 mm. It occurs in two forest formations: the mixed mesophytic forest, and, more usually, the evergreen broad-leaved forest. Besides many angiosperm trees, such as evergreen sclerophyllous oaks and lauraceous trees, a few additional gymnosperms are also found in the latter formation: Pseudotsuga sinensis, Cryptomeria japonica, Cephalotaxus fortunei, and Taxus chinensis.

Human Uses

The wood of this species is used locally for construction and firewood. It is quite commonly planted in China, but rare in cultivation elsewhere

Conservation Status

Global Status and Rationale

Near Threatened (VU A2cd)

This species is assessed as Near Threatened based on general deforestation especially affecting the altitude range within which it occurs. There is insufficient information to estimate a rate of decline, and whether this is still ongoing, but it is presumably close to qualifying for listing as threatened under criterion A2cd. Conversely, as a tree capable of quick regeneration in secondary vegetation, it may be increasing in certain situations and localities

Global Threats

Although relatively widespread in distribution, centuries of deforestation in southern China have undoubtedly reduced the forests in which this species naturally occurs. It is, however, capable of regeneration in secondary vegetation; a decline in primary forest can therefore not be directly translated into a decline of the species. In addition this species is widely planted making it difficult to determine its exact natural distribution

Conservation Actions

This species is present in several protected areas.