Juniperus monosperma 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Cupressaceae

Scientific Name: Juniperus monosperma
Species Authority: (Engelm.) Sarg.
Common Name(s):
English One-seed Juniper, West Texas Juniper, Cherrystone Juniper
Spanish Sabina
Juniperus occidentalis Hook. variety monosperma Engelm.
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: Martínez (1946) described J. monosperma var. gracilis from the lower slopes of the Sierra Madre Oriental in NE Mexico, but on the IUCN Redlist this taxon is recognized as a distinct but related species J. angosturana R.P.Adams

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-08
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Adams, R & Thomas, P.
Juniperus monosperma is, despite eradication campaigns against it in the past, is still very wide-spread and numerous, occupying many millions of hectares and regenerating after disturbances. It is therefore assessed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Recorded from the USA: Arizona, S Colorado, S Nevada, New Mexico, W Oklahoma, NW Texas; and Mexico: Chihuahua [based on an older Pringle collection at WU, det. not certain].
Countries occurrence:
United States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 22500
Lower elevation limit (metres): 970
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: An aggressive, grassland invader species in the USA. The most common juniper in New Mexico and covering millions of acres.  Eradication is actively pursued. Due to widespread fire control now, it will be even more widely spread in future.
Current Population Trend: Increasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: No
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In Pinyon-Juniper woodland, with Pinus edulis, Juniperus osteosperma, J. scopulorum, and in grassland with Opuntia spp., Yucca spp. on dry, rocky soils of intermountain basins, or on rock outcrops, buttes and mesas of limestone, sandstone or igneous rock. The altitudinal range is from 970 m to 2,200 m a.s.l. The climate is continental semi-arid, with summer rainfall mainly arriving with erratic and local storms from the Gulf of Mexico.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: No
Generation Length (years): 30

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The wood is useful as firewood and for fence posts. The fibrous bark was woven into mats and cloth by Native Americans (Apache, Comanche, Ute). One-seed juniper is of no particular interest to horticulturists probably because of its growth habit, often not 'knowing' whether it wants to be a shrub or a tree.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Pinyon-Juniper woodland in the southwestern USA has been under pressure from livestock grazing interests, with efforts to convert this type of woodland to “more productive sites for increased livestock forage”, by cutting, grubbing of stumps and chemical tree killers. Grasses were seeded in their place, and “hundreds of thousands of acres…[have] been transformed into highly productive grazing land.” (David P. Tidwell in Proceedings [of the] Pinyon-Juniper Conference, USDA Report No. GTR-INT-215, January 1987). Juniperus monosperma and other species in this ecosystem were considered “weeds” to be eradicated. As a result, the AOO has been reduced substantially. No quantitative data of this past decline have been presented for J. monosperma. It still occupies “millions of hectares” on which it is the dominant plant in New Mexico (Adams 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Only a limited proportion of the population is located within protected areas. Management of Pinyon-Juniper woodland on public lands is no longer aimed at eradication, but under a “multiple use” policy acknowledges its value for ecosystems.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Juniperus monosperma. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42239A2965568. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
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