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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Mexico: southern Chihuahua, Nuevo León; USA: Arizona, Chiricahua Mts.
In Mexico, this spruce is found only on the two tallest peaks of the Sierra Madre Oriental in the states of Coahuila and Nuevo León and on the tallest peak of the Sierra Madre Occidental in the state of Chihuahua, 676 km distant (Ledig 2010).
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Physical Description

Type Information

Isotype for Picea mexicana Martínez
Catalog Number: US 2423598
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): Vazquez Soto, --
Year Collected: 1961
Locality: 75 km al SE de Saltillo, Rayones, Coahuila, Mexico, North America
Elevation (m): 2700 to 2700
  • Isotype: Martínez M., M. 1962. Anales Inst. Biol. Univ. Nac. Mexico. 32: 137.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This subspecies is restricted to high altitude, N-facing slopes and ravines on limestone mountains.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Picea mexicana

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


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Picea mexicana

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
A4acd; B2ab(ii,iii,v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.

Reviewer/s
Perez de la Rosa, J. & Stritch, L.

Contributor/s

Justification
This subspecies has undergone an estimated recent decline (post 1950) of up to 50%. A further decline is likely so that the overall decline is estimated to be greater than 50% by 2025. This time period is within the three generation period required by the IUCN to qualify for Endangered under the A4 criteria. In addition, the area of occupancy is much less than 100 km2, there are only three known locations, subpopulations are severely fragmented and there is a continuing decline due to grazing, fire and logging.

History
  • 2000
    Endangered
  • 1998
    Endangered
    (Oldfield et al. 1998)
  • 1998
    Endangered
  • 1997
    Vulnerable
    (Walter and Gillett 1998)
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Population

Population
The subpopulations are small. The largest one, from La Carmen in the Sierra de la Marta, was virtually destroyed in a fire in 1975 (“reduced to a population of a mere 6 mature trees”, Rushforth, 1986) although later surveys revealed that an estimated 1000-2000 trees remained on the upper slopes (Ledig et al. 2002). Regeneration is hampered by grazing.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The main population in the Sierra de la Marta (the type locality) was nearly exterminated in a forest fire in 1975. Other populations, e.g. on Cerro Mohinora in Chihuahua, are much smaller and declining, and even more susceptible to destructive fires. In addition, trees have been felled while regeneration is poor and slow due to grazing, especially on Cerro del Mohinora. Global warming presents a further threat as each subpopulation is growing close or on the summit of their respective mountains and there is little scope for further migration.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This subspecies is present in one protected area (Chiricahua Mts., Arizona). Despite this that subpopulation is vulnerable to human set fires that are likely associated with illegal immigration and drug trafficing into the USA from adjoining areas of Mexico are increasingly common. The most recent fire (Horshoe 2) burnt over 200,000 ha of pine-oak and mixed conifer woodland in 2011 (US Forest Service 2011).
The Mexican subpopulations are outside formal reserves. The remaining stands of this subspecies should come under such protection, where logging, grazing and burning can be policed and controlled. Ex-situ conservation involving the collection of seed from all stands and the establishment of breeding populations in suitable areas should be a priority.
According to the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Mexico) (2010) this species is in danger of extinction.
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