Habitat and Ecology
Evolution and Systematics
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Cupressus gigantea
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cupressus gigantea
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1997Vulnerable(Walter and Gillett 1998)
Wang et al. (2010) surveyed 13 quadrants within the area 28 59’ 22” to 28 59’ 49” N and 93 16’ 52” – 93 18’ 57” E (3120 m to 3210 m a.s.l.) each covering an area of 1 km2 which between them contained ca 366 mature individuals. Regeneration throughout this area was poor.
In one location, near Linzhi, an estimated 300-500 mature individuals were directly observed in 2007 but with no regeneration.
The variety is common along the Yarlung Tsangpo valley from Nang for about 30-40 km with more scattered trees at higher elevations along the same stretch. An estimated 2000 mature individuals occur in this area, and “copious regeneration” has been observed. (Direct observations by Keith Rushforth, 1995-1999).
It is estimated that the number of mature individuals throughout the range do not total more than 5000 trees.
Since 1998 the extant population of mature individuals is believed to have stabilized.
Due to the scarcity of timber in the region where scattered groves of var. gigantea occur, there is continuous pressure for exploitation. Regeneration is often poor due to grazing of livestock. Extensive logging (estimated at around 50% of mature individuals) took place between the 1960s and 1980s. Wang et al. (2010) found regeneration to be poor throughout their entire study area, and further direct observations support this for the area around Linzhi. A decline in the quality of habitat around Linzhi has been observed, and is a result of deforestation and subsequent soil erosion.
Several groves are protected as 'sacred forest' by Buddhist monks and some of the largest trees are on grounds used as a cemetery, where any cutting is prohibited. Other locations have also been designated as a National Park and protected by local government. The taxon is cultivated in botanic gardens both within China and in the UK where conservation collections of known wild origin are maintained.
King Cypress 
The biggest known specimen is famous King Cypress, about 50 meters high, 5.8 meters in diameter, 0.165-acre (670 m2) of crown-projection-area; and calculated age of 2,600 years.
- Conifer Specialist Group 1998. Cupressus gigantea. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 10 July 2007.
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