Alaska Yellow Cedar gene conservation in Klamath Region (CA and OR)
CBI is collaborating with the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and the Klamath National Forest in their effort to conserve the Alaska yellow Cedar in its southern range, located in Southern Oregon and Northern California, where it faces extreme extinction risk due to climate change. Concerted conservation efforts are needed to develop and implement conservation and reforestation strategies, in order to manage forest tree species for sustainability in the future. CBI will help coordinate the collection of seeds from trees from 8 sites, tag and geo-reference each tree, gather information on the general health of these stands, and submit the seeds to the national seedbank in Fort Collins. In addition, current-year needles will be also collected from each seed tree for later genetic/genomics analysis by Richard Cronn and team at the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the USFS.
Alaska Yellow Cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis) has an extensive range from Alaska to Northern California (Fig. 1). It is declining in the northern part of its range due to a combination of factors associated with climate change and is a rare species in the southern part of its range in California and Southern Oregon. These southern populations are relics that occur in isolated stands in sub-alpine zones in cool wet sites at higher elevation > 5000 ft (Fig 2). The species is currently under review for listing as a threatened or endangered species.
Fig 1. Range map for Alaska yellow cedar.
Figure 2. Current known yellow cedar locations in the Siskyou Mountains (CBI 2017)