Pinus torreyana ssp. torreyana 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Pinus torreyana Parry ex Carrière ssp. torreyana
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
English Torrey Pine
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-04-13
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Stritch, L.

Urbanization is encroaching on the mainland population (ssp. torreyana) with the effect that trees outside the Torrey Pines State Park are still disappearing. There is also an acute risk of a major fire wiping out a large part of the population, a risk that is known to increase for various reasons where housing developments are near the population in a potentially fire-prone area. The present decline is probably slow, but ongoing. The extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are both very small (20 km2 and 4 km2 respectively) and the whole area can be treated as a single location. The mainland subspecies is therefore listed as Critically Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to southern California (San Diego Co., on the coast north of San Diego), USA.
Countries occurrence:
United States (California)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:4Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:20
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):1
Upper elevation limit (metres):180
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are an estimated 3,000-3,500 mature trees in the population.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:3000-3500Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Pinus torreyana subsp. torreyana is a relict taxon now confined to littoral habitat on the coast (up to 1.6 km inland) of southern California. It grows from immediately above the high tide mark to about 180 m a.s.l. on rocky or sandy slopes. On these sites it seems dependent on the daily fog that comes in from the ocean in the afternoon, mitigating the heat of the sun and the resulting excessive evapo-transpiration. It grows with a sparse chaparral and few other trees; in ravines sometimes accompanied by a few oaks (Quercus sp.) and Arbutus menziesii.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):30

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Torrey Pine is not used as a timber tree; at present the two disjunct populations are protected by law. It is in cultivation in California in gardens and some arboreta, but rare elsewhere. In the better growing conditions of gardens it can grow to a large tree; a specimen in New Zealand was 45 m tall with a d.b.h. of 1.5 m in 1982 (Grimshaw and Bayton 2009: 626).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The small population on the mainland that constitutes this subspecies is in part (southern subpopulation) legally protected in the Torrey Pines State Park. However, the small overall size, fewer than 3,500 mature trees covering ca. 320 ha in two subpopulations, and close proximity to major urban development, puts the subspecies highly at risk of destructive events such as fires, pest epidemics and diseases. Trees outside the reserve are often not adequately protected from development; they are sometimes incorporated in urban landscaping and sometimes felled (A. Farjon personal obs. 1992). Urbanization outside the reserve is ongoing, with expanding housing projects encroaching on the population of Torrey Pines. The permits required to fell a tree do not seem to have stopped this happening.  It is expected that this will result in continuous, slow loss of mature trees unless all are incorporated in a protected area and a total ban on felling is enforced.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: One of the two subpopulations is protected within a specially created reserve (Torrey Pines State Park), where collecting and other activities detrimental to the pines are strictly prohibited and regulations enforced. The Torrey Pine is protected by a city tree ordinance in Del Mar, near the native habitat, and construction projects and citizens need an approved permit before they can remove any trees. It is strongly recommended to create a reserve for as many trees as possible in the second (northern) subpopulation, and stop housing projects from encroaching on the natural range of this pine. Although conservation measures for this taxon seem to be in place at present, growing this taxon more widely as an ex situ backup is strongly recommended; it is also an interesting taxon to grow and requires a mild climate with warm, sunny summers and (near) absence of frost in winter.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus torreyana ssp. torreyana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T34015A2840365. . Downloaded on 20 July 2018.
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