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Pinus clausa

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES PINACEAE

Scientific Name: Pinus clausa
Species Authority: (Chapman ex Engelm.) Sarg.
Common Name(s):
English Sand Pine, Florida Spruce Pine
Taxonomic Notes: Trees with serotinous cones in central Florida have been described as P. clausa var. immuginata. Although there appears to be some geographical separation of the two forms, serotiny of cones has been found among trees with opening cones and this character alone seems insufficiently distinct to give it taxonomic separation as a variety or subspecies. Cone serotiny is clearly an adaptive trait related to fire and trees with these cones are probably strongly selected for in areas with frequent fires. The phenomenon occurs in a good number of phylogenetically distant (not closely related) species in the subgenus Pinus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-23
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Stritch, L.
Justification:

Pinus clausa  is a widespread and common species that is not being exploited on a large scale and shows no signs of decline: it may even be increasing where other land uses are retreating as on marginal farmland. It is therefore assessed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: USA: Alabama (Baldwin Co.), Florida.
Countries:
Native:
United States (Alabama, Florida)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no evidence to suggest that populations have declined, as yet.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This lowland pine from the sandy interior and coasts of Florida occupies the drier areas away from swamps and eutrophic rivers. It is a fire-succesional species, in particular on infertile white sand dunes and flats of marine origin and low elevations between 5 and 60 m a.s.l. or up to 90 m on the west coast. There are abundant summer rains while winters are generally dry, but much of the precipitation drains away quickly into the sandy soil. There are two ecotypes or 'races' of this species, one with mostly serotinous cones and another of which the cones open more readily; these were recognized previously as botanical varieties. Pinus clausa is characteristic of 'sand pine scrub' a distinctive plant community of north-central Florida. The tree layer is dominated by P. clausa, with an understorey composed of evergreen shrubs to 3 m tall and in almost total absence of a herb layer. Several species of oak (Quercus) and small palms (Sabal etonia, Serenoa repens) are most abundant. The ground is often covered by lichens (Cladina evansii, Cladonia spp.).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Sand Pine is of some value as a timber tree only in plantations, where it can give a reasonably high yield for the pulp wood industry. The 'Chocktawhatchee' form of western Florida with short branches and dark green needles is grown as a Christmas tree. The species is thought to be of use in 'biomass plantations' for fuelwood from trials conducted by the USDA Forest Service in the 1980's. Such use may become more important in the current political drive to reduce dependence on oil in the US and to increase the contribution of 'renewables' to the fuel for motorcars. This species has no significance in horticulture.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats have been identified for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is recorded from several protected areas within its range.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus clausa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 August 2014.
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