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Kuaijishan Ancient Chinese Torreya Community

The Kuaijishan Ancient Chinese Torreya Community is located in the north of Zhejiang Province, N29°25′-29°47′and E120°17′ -120°38′. It includes 59 villages in 12 townships in Zhuji City, Shengzhou City and Shaoxing County. The total area is 402Km2 . There are around 1.05×105  ancient Chinese Torreya trees. Among them, 7.2×104 are more than 100 years old, and thousands of them are more than 1000 years old. A spectacular landscape is formed by the ancient Chinese Torreya trees, traditional villages, and abundant streams, and mountains. Chinese Torreya (Torreya grandis cv. Merrillii) is a quality grafting plant resulting, over time, from careful artificial selection. Its main properties and economic values are different from other types of Torreya grandis and it can be used for nuts, medicine, logs, oil, ornaments, and environmental protection purposes. The Kuaiji mountain is the origin place of Chinese Torreya with the most well preserved ancient Torreya community, and more than 80% Chinese Torreya production is from this area. The Kuaijishan Ancient Chinese Torreya Community has over 2000 years of history. This Kuaijishan ancient community developed the application of grafting techniques in ancient China, which makes it a rare "living fossil" of ancient grafting and artificial selection techniques. The age of the oldest existing Chinese Torreya tree, already tested by experiments, is 1431 years, which might be the oldest living artificial grafted specimen in China. In addition, the Kuaijishan Ancient Chinese Torreya Community is a harmonious system that was created by the people of Shaoxing a long time ago that prevents soil erosion while providing diverse ‘high value’ economic products from the trees. In all, the Kuaijishan Ancient Chinese Torreya Community not only has historical, artistic, scientific, ecological and economical value, but also reflects a highly sustainable mode of human survival through the careful transformation and utilization of natural resources; the harmonious coexistence of humans with nature. It is a unique GIAHS system in the world. Nevertheless, the Kuaijishan Ancient Chinese Torreya Community is facing severe threats and challenges due to natural aging, natural disasters, land use competition, population aging, and the lack of agriculture labor resources. It is urgent to establish the social, economic and ecological values of this important system and protect them in dynamic ways. 

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Publisher: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
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Organization: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Other organizations: Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS),
Year: 2013
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Country/ies: China
Geographical coverage: Asia and the Pacific
Type: Case study
Content language: English
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