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Pinus cembroides

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES PINACEAE

Scientific Name: Pinus cembroides
Species Authority: Zucc.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Pinyon Pine, Mexican Nut Pine
Spanish Piñón, Pino Piñonero
Synonym(s):
Pinus johannis Rob.Pass.
Taxonomic Notes: A variable species that has been divided into several infraspecific taxa at two taxonomic ranks, some of which have been treated by some authors as distinct species. This assessment takes a more broadly circumscribed concept of the species as the basis for conservation, but recognizing several of the entities at lower ranks. Tthe following subspecies are assessed separately: subsp. orizabensis D.K.Bailey and subsp. lagunae (Rob.-Pass.) D.K.Bailey.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-06-07
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Perez de la Rosa, J.
Justification:

A very widespread species, mainly in Mexico but extending into the USA in three states. Its wide distribution and abundance indicate an assessment of Least Concern. Although two of the subspecies  are assessed as threatened, they represent a relatively small part of the overall species' distribution and population.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Recorded from SW USA: SE Arizona, SW New Mexico, SW Texas; in Mexico it occupies a wide range running from the interior slopes of the Sierra Madres into the interior of South-Central Mexico, where it reaches its southernmost point in Puebla. An outlier occurs in the Sierra de la Laguna at the southern tip of Baja California. This subpopulation is treated as P. cembroides subsp. lagunae (Rob.-Pass.) D.K.Bailey.
Countries:
Native:
Mexico (Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Zacatecas); United States (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is abundant throughout its range, because its habitat almost never burns and because the species is not generally logged due to its small size.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In much of its range, Pinus cembroides occupies a transition zone between (semi-)desert plateaux and valleys and more mesic coniferous montane forests. The altitudinal range is extensive: (800-)1,500-2,600(-2,800) m a.s.l., with highest occurrences in the SE of its range. It grows on a variety of substrates, ranging from alluvial bajadas to volcanic rock, usually on scarcely developed soils. It forms open woodland alone or mixed with Juniperus spp., Pinus nelsonii, P. pinceana, Quercus, Yucca, Agave, Cactaceae (e.g. Opuntia), Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, Arbutus and other shrubs of dry, hot areas; at higher and/or moister sites it forms part of a mixed pine-oak woodland or forest including, e.g. Pinus arizonica, P. engelmannii, P. leiophylla var. chihuahuana, and P. pseudostrobus in the southeastern part of its range. The climate is warm and dry, with annual precipitation varying from 380-650 mm and a dry season of 7-8 months. Frost may occur at higher elevations in the interior, but is infrequent. There is an important mutualist relationship with the corvid birds Aphelocoma coerulescens and Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus, which feed on the seeds and cache them, thereby providing an effective dispersal mechanism.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Although not a timber tree in most areas due to its low stature and low and heavy branching, Pinus cembroides is nevertheless an economically important species of pine in Mexico. Its principal value for local economies lies in the edible seeds (piñones), which are regularly harvested and marketed. Further use is made of its wood for carpentry, or sometimes for timber where there is no other pine species available, as in Baja California Sur. Due to its adaptation to semi-arid environments and extensive range it is also an important shrub or tree for aspects of land management, such as watershed protection, prevention of erosion, and as a shade tree in agro-forestry. Pinyon Pines are uncommon in cultivation and mostly seen in arboreta and botanic gardens and in some urban landscaping schemes mainly in SW U.S.A.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No specific or range wide threats have been identified for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is known from several protected areas and also occurs in many remote areas.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus cembroides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 July 2014.
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