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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees to 30 m tall; trunk to 1.5 m d.b.h.; crown pyramidal when young; branchlets horizontal or tilted upward distally; branchlets many 2-ranked, opposite or alternate, usually not pendulous, pale yellow-brown, pubescent in 1st year, thereafter dark gray; winter buds conical. Leaves on short branchlets in apparent fascicles of 19-28, dark green, linear, ± quadrangular in cross section, 15-35 cm × ca. 1 mm, stomatal lines 2-5 along both surfaces, apex acuminate. Seed cones tinged purple before fertilization, pale brown at maturity, ovoid-columnar to columnar, ca. 7 × 4 cm. Seed scales flabellate or obtriangular, ca. 3.5 mm wide. Seeds ± triangular, ca. 1.2 cm; wing cuneate, 1.3-1.5 cm.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Pinus atlantica Endlicher, Syn. Conif. 137. 1847; Cedrus libani A. Richard subsp. atlantica (Endlicher) Battandier & Trabut; C. libani var. atlantica (Endlicher) J. D. Hooker.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Atlas Cedar occurs at elevations of 1,300 to 2,600 m a.s.l., where the amount of annual rainfall ranges from 500 to 2,000 mm and the minimum temperature of the coldest month ranges between −1 and −8 °C [35,46]. The Middle Atlas (northern Morocco) contains about 80% of the Atlas cedar forest surface area (ca. 100,000 ha). Middle Atlas Cedar forests contain several evergreen (Holm Oak, Quercus rotundifolia Lam.; Prickly Juniper, Juniperus oxycedrus L.; European holly, Ilex aquifolium L.) and deciduous (Acer opalus Mill., Crataegus laciniata Ucria) tree and shrub species. Taxus baccata also occurs in the Algerian forests (Bentouati 2008).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Habitat & Distribution

Cultivated as an ornamental. Jiangsu (Nanjing Shi) [native to NW Africa (Algeria, Morocco)]
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Associations

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Amanita singeri is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Cedrus atlantica
Remarks: Other: uncertain

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Cedrus atlantica

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cedrus atlantica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
A2cd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Thomas, P.

Reviewer/s
Farjon, A. & Gardner, M.

Contributor/s

Justification
Cedrus atlantica has an estimated extent of occurrence greater than 20,000 km2. Its total actual area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated to be between 1,300 and 1,500 km2 (Terrab et al. 2008, Linares et al. 2011) and there are seven main locations. Range wide declines of up to 75% in area of occupancy are estimated to have occurred between 1940 and 1982. Recent droughts have led to further declines in many parts of its range and it is likely that they will continue if the regional climate continues to become more arid. Outbreaks of pests and diseases have exacerbated the situation. Without proper control measures in place these negative effects are likely to continue. The decline over the last 50 years is sufficient to warrant an assessment of Endangered under the criteria for A2 (three generations is 90 years).
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Population

Population
Recent genetic analysis have indicated that two major subpopulations exist: one in the Rif and Middle Atlas mountains in Morocco and the other through the Algerian Tell Atlas and Aurès mountains (Terab et al. 2008). Stands within these subpopulations are relatively localized and fragmented.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Atlas Cedar forests have been exploited for their timber for several centuries. In addition they have been subject to overgrazing and repeated burning. Exploitation has increased over the last 50 years: range wide declines of up to 75% are estimated to have occurred between 1940 and 1982 (Benabid and Fennane 1994 cited in Terab et al. 2008). Since the 1980s a series of droughts have led to further decline, especially in areas closest to the Saharan desert (Bentouati 2008, Linares 2011). Crown defoliation by processionary caterpillars(Thaumetopoea bonjeani and T. pityocampa), cedar bark stripping by Barbary Macaques (Macaca sylvanus), and damage by cedar bark beetles (Phaenops marmottani) seem to have exacerbated the recent decline (Allen 2010). Recent dendroclimatological studies (Touchan 2011) have indicated that the current series of droughts are at least as intense as any that have occurred in the last thousand years. Projections for future climate change indicate a continued decrease in precipitation (Touchan 2011)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Many stands are located within National Parks and receive some protection from overgrazing and logging. Programmes to monitor the extent and severity of recent die-back are in place.
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Wikipedia

Atlas Cedar

Cedrus atlantica, the Atlas cedar, is a cedar native to the Atlas Mountains of Algeria (Tell Atlas, Saharan Atlas) and Morocco (in the Rif and Middle Atlas, and locally in the High Atlas).[2] A majority of the modern sources[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] treat it as a distinct species Cedrus atlantica, but some sources[11][12] consider it a subspecies of Lebanon cedar (C. libani subsp. atlantica).

Description[edit]

Fully grown, Atlas cedar is a large coniferous evergreen tree, 30–35 m (rarely 40m) tall, with a trunk diameter of 1.5–2 m.It is very similar in all characters to the other varieties of Lebanon cedar; differences are hard to discern. The mean cone size tends to be somewhat smaller (although recorded to 12 cm,[2] only rarely over 9 cm long, compared to up to 10 cm in C. brevifolia, and 12 cm in C. libani, though with considerable overlap (all can be as short as 6 cm). The Cedrus atlantica leaf length (10–25 mm) is similar that of C. libani subsp. stenocoma, on average longer than C. brevifolia and shorter than C. libani subsp. libani, but again with considerable overlap.[2][8][13]

Ecology[edit]

Atlas cedar forms forests on mountain sides at 1,370 to 2,200 m, often in pure forests, or mixed with Algerian Fir - Abies numidica, Juniperus oxycedrus, Holm oak - Quercus ilex, and Acer opalus. These forests can provide habitat for the endangered Barbary Macaque, Macaca sylvanus, a primate that had a prehistorically much wider distribution in northern Morocco and Algeria.[14]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Cedrus atlantica: Foliage and mature female cone

Landscape[edit]

Cedrus atlantica (Atlas cedar) is common in cultivation as an ornamental tree in temperate climates. In garden settings, often the glaucous forms are planted as ornamental trees, distinguished as the Glauca Group, a Cultivar Group. There are also fastigiate, pendulous, and golden-leaf forms in cultivation. The Atlas cedar is useful in cultivation because it is more tolerant of dry and hot conditions than most conifers.

Many (but far from all) of the cultivated trees have glaucous (bluish) foliage, more downy shoots, and can have more leaves in each whorl; young trees in cultivation often have more ascending branches than many cultivated Cedrus atlantica.[15]

An Atlas cedar is planted at the White House South Lawn in Washington, DC. President Carter ordered a tree house built within the cedar for his daughter Amy. The wooden structure was designed by the President himself, and is self-supporting so as not to cause damage to the tree.[16]

Forestry[edit]

Male cones beginning to shed pollen

Cedar plantations, mainly with Cedrus atlantica, have been established in southern France for timber production.

Cultural references[edit]

George Harrison references the species in his song "Beware of Darkness."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thomas, P. 2013. Cedrus atlantica. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 13 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Gaussen, H. (1964). Genre Cedrus. Les Formes Actuelles. Trav. Lab. For. Toulouse T2 V1 11: 295-320
  3. ^ Gymnosperm database Cedrus.
  4. ^ GRIN Taxonomy for Plants Cedrus.
  5. ^ NCBI Taxonomy Browser Cedrus.
  6. ^ Flora of China vol. 4
  7. ^ Qiao, C.-Y., Jin-Hua Ran, Yan Li and Xiao-Quan Wang (2007): Phylogeny and Biogeography of Cedrus (Pinaceae) Inferred from Sequences of Seven Paternal Chloroplast and Maternal Mitochondrial DNA Regions. Annals of Botany 100(3):573-580. Available online
  8. ^ a b Farjon, A. (1990). Pinaceae. Drawings and Descriptions of the Genera. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3-87429-298-3.
  9. ^ Farjon, A. (2008). A Natural History of Conifers. Timber Press ISBN 0-88192-869-0.
  10. ^ Christou, K. A. (1991). The genetic and taxonomic status of Cyprus cedar, Cedrus brevifolia (Hook.) Henry. Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Greece.
  11. ^ Güner, A., Özhatay, N., Ekim, T., & Başer, K. H. C. (ed.). 2000. Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands 11 (Supplement 2): 5–6. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0-7486-1409-5
  12. ^ Eckenwalder, J. E. (2009). Conifers of the World: The Complete Reference. Timber Press ISBN 0-88192-974-3.
  13. ^ Schwarz, O. (1944). Anatolica. Feddes Repertorium 54: 26-34.
  14. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2008. Barbary Macaque: Macaca sylvanus, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg
  15. ^ Walters, W. M. (1986). European Garden Flora Vol 1. ISBN 0-521-24859-0.
  16. ^ http://www.whitehousehistory.org/04/subs_pph/PresidentDetail.aspx?ID=39&imageID=4232
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