Podocarpus sellowii Klotzsch ex Endl.


Endemic to the coastal forests of southern Brazil where deforestation is a major threat

Associated Names:


Distributed in southern Brazil where it occurs in the States of: Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina and Sao Paulo.

Habitat and Ecology

It has a coastal distribution in S Brazil and occurs in the Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica). The remnants of this forest are situated in the coastal mountains. These forests are evergreen subtropical and grow on acidic soils derived from granite and gneiss. Podocarpus sellowii is found in the montane forests at altitudes between 800–1800m above sea-level. The forest type in which P. sellowii mostly occurs is relatively open and has an average canopy height of 10–15m. In the northern half of its range this occurs predominantly on eastern slopes, which receive less rainfall, and in the south on most slopes between 1100–1500m above sea-level. Podocarpus sellowii may be associated with P. lambertii in the south of its range, where gallery forest along rivers becomes more prominent and intercalates with the Atlantic Forest. Palms and numerous dicots (both shrubs and trees) grow with it in most locations and epiphytes on trees are mostly mosses and lichens.

Human Uses

As a small tree this species has little commercial value for timber. It may locally be used for firewood or sometimes for fence posts. It is not known in cultivation.

Conservation Status

Global status

Endangered A2cd

Global rationale

The inferred decline in the past of ≥ 50% could be an underestimate as deforestation in the Mata Atlântica has been much higher. However, we have no way of knowing if Podocarpus sellowii occurred in all of the lost forests. Decline has not ceased as deforestation has not ceased, but is probably slower now than in the past. This species therefore meets the A2 criterion for the category Endangered.

Global threats

Deforestation in the ‘Mato Atlantica’ has decimated the habitat of this species.

Conservation Actions

This species is present in few protected areas.