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Pinus amamiana

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES PINACEAE

Scientific Name: Pinus amamiana
Species Authority: Koidz.
Common Name(s):
English Amami Pine
Synonym(s):
Pinus armandii Franch. variety amamiana (Koidz.) Hatus.
Taxonomic Notes: The relationship of this species with the very similar species P. armandii, P. fenzeliana and P. morrisonicola and the infraspecific taxa in this group of East Asian pines belonging to subsection Strobus is in need of further investigation using DNA sequence data. Pinus amamiana may be most distinct in its cones and seeds, which seem to be more morphologically adapted to seed dispersal by birds and rodents, with small cones and relatively large, virtually wingless seeds. However, from DNA analysis of other pines with such cones (e.g. P. albicaulis and P. cembra) strong selective pressure has determined the evolution of these adaptations and they are not necessarily good indicators of phylogenetic relationships.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A3ce; B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-14
Assessor(s): Katsuki, T. & Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Luscombe, D & Thomas, P.
Justification:
This species meets the thresholds for Endangered under both criteria A and B. Even though exploitation has ceased, the more recent infestation with pine nematodes continues to cause serious population decline.
History:
2000 Endangered
1998 Vulnerable (Oldfield et al. 1998)
1998 Vulnerable
1997 Vulnerable (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Japan, Kyushu (Yaku-shima, Tanega-shima). The extent of occurrence is estimated to be 600 km2, with an area of occupancy estimated at 50 km2. It is known from two locations.
Countries:
Native:
Japan (Kyushu)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:

In Yaku-shima, there are three subpopulations of P. amamiana, Seibu (western side of Yaku-shima) with 2,000-3,000 individuals, Hirauchi (southern side of Yaku-shima) with <1,000 individuals, Takahira (south-eastern side of Yaku-shima) with <100 individuals. These subpopulations are decreasing.

In Tanega-shima, there is only one subpopulation which is located at the centre of this island. There are about 300 mature trees, and the number is decreasing due to pine wilt disease.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Pinus amamiana occurs in exposed, open stands in often sparsely vegetated localities on rocky slopes at between 50 m and 900 m a.s.l. on two smaller islands in the south of Japan. In Yaku-shima, it occurs between 250-900 m while on Tanega-shima, it occurs between 50-200 m.

Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: No recent uses have been recorded of this species; in the past its timber was exploited and used locally for construction, carpentry and wooden canoes for fishermen. It is reported to be very rare in cultivation, but since it has frequently been referred to as P. armandii var. amamiana or even equated with that species (as it was considered by E.H. Wilson, 1916), there may be trees in collections (arboreta, etc.) that are misidentified. It may be somewhat more common in Japanese gardens.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This rare species has an area of occupancy (AOO) of less than 100 km²; the total population size amounts to fewer than 3,000 trees (ca. 2,000 on Yakushima) and is declining. These trees were formerly exploited for timber and regeneration is slow due to exposed conditions. Pine Wood Nematodes accidentally introduced from the U.S.A. have caused increased mortality among seedlings and saplings according to information obtained by Tetsukazu Yahara (pers. comm.) of the IUCN SSC Japanese Plant Specialist Group  in 1999. Mature trees are reported to be affected in Tanegashima (Nakamura et al. 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The subpopulation on Yakushima occurs (partly?) within a protected area. There has also been a survey of surviving trees in their natural habitats on two islands, and a distribution map was made to aid in situ conservation, These activities are carried out with help of local NGOs, The Yaku-shima Yakutane-goyo Research Group and Tanega-shima Yakutane-goyo Research Group, Kagoshima Pref., the Yaku-shima Forest Office of the National Forest Agency  and the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute.

Citation: Katsuki, T. & Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus amamiana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
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