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Abies numidica

Abies numidica
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€25.00

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Product Information
Specification

Scientific name: Abies numidica  de Lannoy ex Carrière  1866

Synonyms: Abies baborensis Coss., Abies pinsapo var. numidica (de Lannoy ex Carrière) Salomon, Abies pinsapo subsp. numidica (de Lannoy ex Carrière) A.E.Murray, Picea numidica (de Lannoy ex Carrière) R.Sm. ex Gordon, Pinus baborensis (Coss.) W.R.McNab

Common names: Algerian fir, Algerian silver fir, Numidian fir, Sapin d'Algerie (French)

 

Description

Tree to 20-25 m tall, with trunk to 0.8 m in diameter. Bark gray, becoming deeply ridged and furrowed with age. Branchlets hairless, often shiny, grooved between the leaf bases. Buds 3.5-5 mm long, resinous or not. Needles crowded above the twigs, sometimes pointed somewhat backward, with shallow resin canals and three to eight interrupted or continuous lines of stomates above, (0.6-)1-2(2.5) cm long, shiny dark green above, the tip sharp to blunt, rounded, or even slightly notched. Pollen cones 5-7(-15) mm long, reddish purple. Seed cones cylindrical, 15-20  cm long, 3.5-5(-6) cm across, greenish, yellowish, or reddish brown when young, maturing yellowish to purplish brown. Seed body 12-14 mm long, the wing up to 1.2 times as long.

Mounts Babor and Thababor, northeastern Algeria; 1,200-1,800(-2,100) m. The summers are dry and typical of a Mediterranean climate with an average of 18°C and a winter minimum of -1°C, with extreme frosts of between -8 to -10°C (Gharzouli, 2007); however the northern slopes tend to be wetter due to their proximity to the coast. The annual rainfall is between 1,500-2,000 mm.

 

Conservation Status

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered

The total extent of occurrence (EOO) of forests containing Abies numidica is estimated to be less than 30 km². The actual area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated to be less than 1 km² (8 km²  using standard IUCN methodology). Even though the area is protected by a National Park, there has been a continual loss in EOO, AOO and a decline in the quality of habitat as a result of forest fires, collection of firewood and grazing. This species is therefore listed as Critically Endangered. A single population with a very restricted range. Knowledge of the population is very poor due to the fact that access to the area is highly restricted because of security problems. Typically they cover the mountain summits where they occur as pure stands (rare) or are co-dominant with Cedrus atlantica, Quercus faginea, Acer obtusatum, Populus tremula, Sorbus aria and Sorbus torminalis with the occasional tree of Taxus baccata. These forests are not only an important habitat for many endemic plants species but also for birds and animals which have very narrow ranges  such as the Algerian Nuthatch (Sitta ledanti) and the Barbary Macaque (Macaca sylvanus). Abies numidica is threatened by a combination of factors including fire, fuel-wood collection and grazing by herds of cattle and goats in the summer. It appears that the young saplings are unable to establish due to a combination of dense under-storey and deep winter snow. The threats to the forest and endemic species are presumed to be ongoing, although the difficulties of access to the site (especially in winter) afford some degree of protection. The forests of A. numidica are within the Djebel Babor Nature Reserve (upgraded from a Natural Reserve in 1985). Entry to the Reserve is carefully controlled and the area is guarded by wardens to try and prevent timber extraction, hunting and grazing. A number of specific conservation proposals have been suggested and relevant authorities are said to be very supportive of action to protect the site, but no more recent information is available regarding its current status and management. The various actions proposed included a reduction in the levels of fuel-wood exploitation, habitat management including selective tree-felling, reforestation and supplementary planting in areas of cultivation, restrictions on grazing in certain habitat-types, surveillance, visitor management and prevention or control of forest-fires. In Djebel Babor, the number of Abies numidica trees has decreased by half since the 1950s (World Wildlife Fund, 2011). Although there are plans to make the area where Abies numidica occurs into a national park and a report has been produced, nothing has been implemented to date.

 

References

  • Farjon, A. (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
  • Eckenwalder, J.E. (2009) Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press, Portland.
  • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Cambridge, UK /Gland, Switzerland

Copyright © Aljos Farjon, James E. Eckenwalder, IUCN, Conifers Garden. All rights reserved.

Product CodeABIRQJ7R88
Weight1.5 kg
Height15 - 20 cm
PropagationGraft


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