Picea brachytyla var. brachytyla


Widely distributed in western China where logging has caused a significant decline in the population and fragmentation

Associated Names:


China: Chongqing, S Gansu, NW Hubei, S Shaanxi, W Sichuan, NW Yunnan, SE Xizang [Tibet].

Habitat and Ecology

Picea brachytyla var. brachytyla occurs in mountains between 1300 and 3800 metres above sea-level. The soils are grey brown mountain podzols. The climate is cold and wet, with annual precipitation from 1000mm (N) to more than 2500mm (S), where the monsoon influence is stronger. It is a constituent of the montane coniferous forest of f the SW Plateau of China (Wang, 1961), with Abies spp., Picea spp. Tsuga spp. and Larix potaninii as major species.

Conservation Status

Global status

Vulnerable A2cd

Global rationale

The inferred reduction of more than 30% in the population over the past 100 years (=three generations) resulting in a severely fragmented population makes the species Vulnerable to extinction. The extensive natural range was used to justify a Least Concern listing in the previous assessment.

Global threats

Past logging has severely depleted the range and size of populations, making the surviving populations vulnerable to population pressures, such as farming, and the occurrence of fire or flooding.

Conservation Actions

The Government of China has recently imposed a ban on logging in western China. The species is included in a number of protected areas across its extensive range.