Structure and genetic variability of new populations of Amentotaxus assamica in the Eastern Himalayas, India
Amentotaxus assamica D.K. Ferguson (common name: Chinese yew) belongs to the gymnospermic family Taxaceae. It is one of the two members of this family found in India, the other being Taxus wallichiana. Amentotaxus is a tall dioecious tree reaching a height of 20 m with horizontal or drooping branches. It is confined to small pockets in the Eastern Himalaya, specifically in Arunachal Pradesh, India. The tree finds usage for making pillars and posts in house construction. Following the ‘critically endangered’ status assigned to the species by the Conservation Assessment and Management Prioritization (CAMP) workshop (February 2003), attempts have been made to locate and assess its population status. Gajurel et al.1 recorded 22 individuals along with five saplings and two seedlings from Mithumna, Dalai Valley, Arunachal Pradesh, the site from where the plant was first reported by F. Kingdom War in 1928. Das et al.2 reported a fairly large population at Turoo forest, Sagalee subdivision, Pampum Pare district, Arunachal Pradesh, having tree density of 40 individuals/ha.