Picea likiangensis (Franch.) E.Pritz.


Distributed in Bhutan, China and neighbouring SE Tibet where logging is the main threat

Associated Names:


Taxonomic Notes

This is a highly variable species and several infraspecific taxa have been recognized. Most of these were at one time described as distinct species and there is apparently no strict consensus as to which entities to recognize at what rank (e.g. Farjon, (1990): Wu, & Raven, (1999)). Following Farjon (2010) the following varieties are recognized here: var. likiangensis, var. hirtella, var. montigena and var. rubescens. The variety linzhiensis is treated as a separate species.


China: S Qinghai, S & W Sichuan, NW Yunnan, SE Xizang [Tibet], Bhutan (not mapped)

Habitat and Ecology

Both the type of the species (type locality Lijiang Shan, Yunnan) and the varieties are subalpine spruces (2900 m to 4100 metres above sea-level) of the SW Plateau of China. They are usually associated with other conifers, e.g. Abies spp., Picea brachytyla, Larix potaninii, and Tsuga spp. at the lower elevations.

Conservation Status

Global status

Vulnerable A2cd

Global rationale

The assessment of the species as a whole is determined by that of its most common and widespread variety, var. likiangensis, under the same criteria. There has been more than a 30% population reduction in the past 75 years (three generations) due to the impacts of logging.

Global threats

Logging has reduced this species by an estimated 30%.

Conservation Actions

The Government of China has recently imposed a logging ban in western China.