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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is found in Mexico (Baja California Norte, Guadalupe Island, also along the border with California) and the USA (SW California, a few localities in Orange Co. and San Diego Co.).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Varieties 2 (1 in the flora): North America, Mexico.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This cypress is found in chaparral on slopes with Adenostoma spp., Arctostaphylos sp., in ravines in the Upper Sonoran Life Zone associated with Acer sp., Rhus laurina, Quercus spp., and Arctostaphylos sp., also locally associated with Pinus radiata var. binata; often along intermittent streams on loamy, sandy, gravelly or rocky soils (or 'adobe soil') over sandstone or granite in full sun. The altitudinal range of var. guadalupensis is from 800 m to 1,280 m and of var. forbesii from 210 m to 1,400 m a.s.l. The climate is of the Mediterranean type with dry, hot summers and winter rain; with frequent fog on Guadalupe Island.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B2ab(ii,iii,iv,v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Farjon, A.

Reviewer/s
Thomas, P.

Contributor/s

Justification
Due to the far greater population size and area of occupancy of the mainland population (var. forbesii) the category of threat for the entire species (including var. guadalupensis on Guadalupe Island) is driven by this mainland population; it is considered to be Endangered. The combined area of occupancy for both varieties is about 42 km², the population is severely fragmented and there are significant continuing declines and fluctuations in mature individuals due to the increasing frequency of fires.

History
  • 2000
    Vulnerable
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Population

Population
On the mainland, the population consists of >10,000 mature trees, but on Guadalupe Island fewer than 200 remain. The population on the mainland continues to decline, while on the island an increase has recently begun, after the eradication of feral goats in 2005.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Urbanization in southern California and adjacent parts of Baja California has brought an increased risk of wildfires and the prevention as well as the attempts to put these down or restrict them will be concentrated around urban properties, not in the first place around populations of rare trees. Like its congeners in California, this cypress will regenerate after fire but there is a definite risk to survival if frequency or intensity of fires are increasing due to human impact factors. This increase is definitely happening on the mainland. On Guadalupe Island the feral goat threat has been removed, but chances of fire may increase as the island is more often visited by tourists than in the past.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The main management issue for the conservation of this species is to reduce the current frequency and/or intensity of wildfires. The species is fire dependent for successful regeneration and establishment, but at a fire frequency that is closely balanced with other factors influencing the vegetation, and neither too frequent nor too infrequent. This may differ from sub-population to sub-population. Management on the uninhabited island of Guadalupe has its own difficulties. The feral goats there have now finally been eradicated.
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Wikipedia

Cupressus guadalupensis

Cupressus guadalupensis, the Guadalupe cypress, is a species of cypress from Guadalupe Island off western North America.

Distribution[edit]

The Guadalupe cypress, Cupressus guadalupensis, is endemic to Mexico, found only on Guadalupe Island in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California. It is found growing at altitudes of 800–1,280 metres (2,620–4,200 ft), in the island's recovering chaparral and woodlands habitats.

Cupressus guadalupensis has previously been listed as being synonymous with Cupressus forbesii, which had been listed as a variety of C. guadalupensis in the past. Recent analyis, however, has placed C. forbesii as a separate, albeit closely related, species.[1]

Description[edit]

Cupressus guadalupensis is an evergreen conifer tree with a conic to ovoid-conic crown, variable in size, with mature trees reaching 10–20 metres (33–66 ft) tall. The foliage grows in dense sprays, dark green to gray-green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 2–5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots.

The seed cones are globose to oblong, 12–35 mm long, with 6 to 10 scales, green at first, maturing gray-brown to gray about 20–24 months after pollination. The cones remain closed for many years, only opening after the parent tree is killed in a wildfire, thereby allowing the seeds to colonise the bare ground exposed by the fire. The male cones are 3–5 mm long, and release pollen in February–March. A specimen survived at Cistus Nursery outside of Portland, OR during the winter of 2013-14, where temperatures went to -11.1111 celsius.

Cupressus guadalupensis var. guadalupensis bark - Golden Gate Park, SF, Ca.

Conservation - restoration[edit]

Guadalupe Island had a population of numerous but old and weak trees in 2000.[2] As a viable conifer woodland species they disappeared rapidly from the late 19th century onwards, as hordes of introduced feral goats ate the seedlings that germinated for over a century. One major subpopulation was destroyed entirely, and the isolated stands were nearly destroyed. Also, with the animals destroying most vegetation, and especially the island's cloud forest, the water table dropped, further jeopardizing the remaining two main subpopulations.[3]

The principal habitats were fenced in by 2001, and long-awaited removal of goats was effectively completed by 2005. The first young plants in 150 years or so are now able to grow and mature without being grazed away.[4] The present small population of 100 extant trees are vulnerable to long term viability. It appears this cypress is more vulnerable to drought than other island native plants, such as the Guadalupe variety of Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata var. binata), and so the population could decline further with future climate changes.[3] Habitat and watershed restoration and support projects are ongoing by Mexican conservation organization programs.

Cupressus guadalupensis is considered a vulnerable species by the IUCN.[5]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Little, D. P. (2006). Evolution and circumscription of the true Cypresses. Syst. Bot. 31 (3): 461-480.
  2. ^ 200 according to CSG (2000), some 4000 according to León de la Luz et al. (2003). The cause(s) for this discrepancy are elusive.
  3. ^ a b León de la Luz et al. (2003)
  4. ^ Junak et al. (2003)
  5. ^ Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-068-4

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Conifer Specialist Group (CSG) (2000). Cupressus guadalupensis. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  • Junak, S.; Keitt, B.; Tershy, B.; Croll, D. & Sánchez, J.A. (2003): Recent conservation efforts and current status of the flora of Guadalupe Island, Baja California, Mexico. Presentation at Taller sobre la Restauración y Conservación de Isla Guadalupe ["Workshop on restoration and conservation of Guadalupe Island"]. Instituto Nacional de Ecología, November 13–14, 2003. HTML abstract.
  • León de la Luz, José Luis; Rebman, Jon P. & Oberbauer, Thomas (2003): On the urgency of conservation on Guadalupe Island, Mexico: is it a lost paradise? Biodiversity and Conservation 12(5): 1073–1082. doi:10.1023/A:1022854211166 (HTML abstract)
  • Little, D. P. (2006). Evolution and circumscription of the true Cypresses. Syst. Bot. 31 (3): 461-480.
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