Abies guatemalensis

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Guatemalan fir
Pinabete.jpg
Abies guatemalensis in the San Miguel Los Altos Reserve, Totonicapán, Guatemala
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Abies
Species: A. guatemalensis
Binomial name
Abies guatemalensis
Rehder

Abies guatemalensis or the Guatemalan fir is an evergreen tree native to Central America and is the southernmost member of the genus Abies being spread to the south up till 14° N. It ranges from southern Mexico in the north to Honduras and El Salvador in the south. It is a warm- and moisture-loving tree of the tropical mountain cloud coniferous and mixed forests of these countries. Guatemalan fir is almost completely non-frost-resistant tree. Due to logging and loss of habitat, the tree is considered threatened and is protected in CITES Appendix I.

Description[edit]

A. guatemalensis is a conical tree growing 20 to 35 meters tall and 60 to 90 cm in girth. The branches grow largely horizontally. The bark is a blackish-brown and is divided into plates. The branchlets are reddish-brown to deep blackish-red and pubescent. The buds are globular-ovoid, resinous, and roughly 5 mm in length. The leaves are somewhat comb-like or nearly pectinate in arrangement. They are unequal and deep green above and waxy in texture underneath. They measure 1.5 to 5.5 cm long by 1.2 to 2 mm wide. Stomata are usually absent above, but appear in 8 to 10 lines below. They contain two marginal resin canals and the apex of the leaf is notched and emarginate. The female cones are oblong-cylindric and the apex is pointed to somewhat flattened. They are yellowish-brown in colour with a violet bloom and measure 8 to 11.5 cm long by 4 to 4.5 cm wide. The scales are oblong, or broader than long. The bracts are hidden, about one half the height of the scale and are cuneate-obovoid in shape. The seeds are a light brown nut to 9 mm in length with a wing to 1.5 cm long" [2]

Taxonomy[edit]

There are two recognised varieties of A. gutamalensis, namely:

Ecology[edit]

A. guatemalensis is listed as endangered by the IUCN due to timber exploitation and loss of habitat.[1] It characteristically grows in deep fertile soils, which are desirable for agriculture by local inhabitants. It was reported as being a common tree up until the 1940s. Large populations may still remain in Honduras, but data is currently deficient. Some evidence suggests that the areas of each remaining stands in Guatemala (except for the forest of Los Altos de San Miguel Totonicapán) are usually no larger than 3 square kilometers.[1] Furthermore the cone crops are irregular and germination is typically poor.[1] Among the remaining populations, the forest of Los Altos de San Miguel Totonicapán in Guatemala is said to harbor the largest and best-conserved stands by area of 52,000-acres (26,060 hectares), though these are also threatened by illegal logging.[4][5] As a result of its status it has become illegal to harvest in some countries where it is native and it is listed in CITES Appendix I, making its international trade illegal. The Central American And Mexico Coniferous Resources Cooperative (CAMCORE) has also begun programmes to protect the tree in the wild.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Sørensen, M., Kollmann, J. & Gardner, M. (2013). "Abies guatemalensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Silba, John (1986). "Encyclopedia coniferae". Phytologia Memoirs (Corvallis, Oregon: Moldenke and Moldenke) 8. 
  3. ^ Farjon, Aljos (1998). World Checklist and Bibliography of Conifers. Richmond, U.K.: Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. 
  4. ^ a b Earle, Christopher J. (2006). "Abies Guatemalensis". The Gymnosperm Database. Retrieved 2007-05-12. 
  5. ^ Community-led Reforestation in Totonicapan Forest

External links[edit]