GUANABANO DE MONTE
Common Name: Guanabano de Monte
Scientific Name: Magnolia silvioi
Categories: Timber,Economically important
Magnolia silvioi is a species of both ecological and economic importance within the cloudforest and rainforests of the Antioquia region in Colombia. However, it has become threatened owing to deforestation and associated widespread demand for its timber. However, conservation measures have been initiated by the Jardin Botanico ‘Joaquin Antonio Uribe’, where scientists have started repopulation trials in areas of natural distribution.
Why is this species important?
This species is important both for ecological and economic reasons. Magnolia silvioi forms an integral component of the rainforest and Cloudforest ecosystems within the Antioquia Region, Colombia. If the species were to become extinct, then this would change the species balance and interaction in this fragile environment. M. silvioi is one of sixteen Magnolia species growing in this small area, so trees of this genus form an important part of the ecosystem. This tree is also highly valued by local communities as a timber tree, so conflict between both these needs leads the species to become at risk.
Where is it found?
This species occurs in the Antioquia region of Columbia, growing on the central Andean plateau at altitudes of 400-1,500m. It is found growing in two areas in the north-east and eastern parts of the region and most commonly seen growing on valley slopes of the Magdalena River. It grows as both a canopy and emergent tree in sub-Andean and humid tropical rainforest. Unfortunately, owing to deforestation, this species only now remains in small fragments of forest, predominantly in areas that are inaccessible or unsuitable for cultivation, such as hill summits and ridges.
How do people use it?
The timber of this tree is highly valued at a regional level for industrial applications, mainly to build structures in mines and sawmills.
Why is it threatened?
One of the main dangers to this species is habitat destruction, which occurs on a large scale in this region for mining and agriculture (mainly sugar cane). This has led to populations being reduced to scattered individuals in fragments of forest, reducing ability of natural regeneration.
What conservation action is needed?
In 2008, the Jardin Botanico ‘Joaquin Antonio Uribe’ in Medellin, Colombia started repopulation trials of this species in areas of natural distribution.
Many thanks to Douglas Gibbs, BGCI for writing this profile.
Garcia, Nestor (Ed.) (2007) Libro Rojo de Plantas de Colombia: Volumen 5: Las Magnoliaceas, Las Miristicaceas y las Podocarpaceas, ARFO Editores e Impresores Ltda;
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