Pinus heldreichii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Pinus heldreichii H.Christ
Common Name(s):
English Heldreich's Pine, Bosnian Pine
Pinus heldreichii H.Christ var. heldreichii
Pinus heldreichii H.Christ var. leucodermis (Antoine) Markgr. ex Fitschen
Pinus leucodermis Antoine
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.
Taxonomic Notes: In some literature, Pinus leucodermis is still treated as a species or as an infraspecific taxon under P. heldreichii, but it is becoming more generally accepted that the two are not distinct and should be treated as one single species without varieties or subspecies. The earliest name (Pinus heldreichii, described in 1863) then applies.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-05-04
Assessor(s): Caković, D., Gargano, D., Matevski, V. & Shuka, L.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Allen, D.J.
Contributor(s): Boršić, I & Farjon, A.

Global and European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

EU 28 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

Although scattered and with an area of occupancy that is probably restricted, Pinus heldreichii has a large extent of occurrence and is known from many healthy natural stands. There are threats indicated in parts of its range, and hybridization could be a threat but its occurrence and extent needs to be confirmed, and until then, it is assessed as Least Concern globally and for the EU28 member states.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species is endemic to Europe, where it occurs with a scattered distribution in the Balkan Peninsula and in southern Italy. In Balkan Peninsula records are from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Albania south to northern Greece, and east to the Pirin and Slavyanka mountains (Valchev and Roussakova 2015) in western Bulgaria. Its presence in Croatia is considered to be the result of cultivation. In the Italian Peninsula the species occurs in the southern Apennines, where it occurs on numerous mountains located in both Basilicata (Mt. Alpi, Mt. La Spina, Mt. Zaccanà, Mt. Serra di Crispo, Mt. Serra delle Ciavole, Mt. Pollino) and Calabria (Mt. Pollino, Mt. Pollinello, Mt. Serra Dolcedorme, Mt. Montea, Mt. La Caccia, Mt. Palanuda, and gorges of the Argentino River valley) (D. Gargano pers. comm. 2016). These subpopulations are sometimes referred to as Pinus leucodermis. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is large, however the area of occupancy (AOO) is probably restricted and is likely to be less than 2,000 km2, although the available point locality data are unlikely to be representative of actual occurrence.
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Greece (Greece (mainland)); Italy (Italy (mainland)); Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Montenegro; Serbia (Kosovo, Serbia)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1500-2500,2000Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:18900
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Lower elevation limit (metres):800
Upper elevation limit (metres):2640
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population of this species is fragmented and consists of usually limited stands (subpopulations) edaphically limited and separated from other stands. Its most extensive stands occur in Albania (Vidacović 1991, L. Shuka pers. comm. 2016), but there are also solitary old trees here and there. At higher elevation older and senescent trees prevail and regeneration is sparse or seems absent, while recruitment appears to be more effective in lower stands (Gargano and Bernardo 2006). The overall population trend is inferred to be generally stable; those in southern Italy are substantially stable (D. Gargano pers. comm. 2016), while localised declines are likely in the Balkans.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Pinus heldreichii is a mountain to subalpine species, in Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia usually growing above 2,200 m asl. up to 2,640 m (Farjon and Filer 2013), but elsewhere down to 800 m, such as in Tomorri National Park in Albania (L. Shuka pers. comm. 2016). It is most commonly found on steep mountainsides with very thin soil over limestone, or on rocky faces, but it can also occur on siliceous (Kosovo) and ultrabasic rocks or substrate, most often in pure, scattered stands. It grows very slowly in this habitat and presumably ancient specimen trees are known, e.g. in Calabria. Although occurring in the Mediterranean region, its altitudinal range subjects it to sometimes quite severe winter frosts. A small to medium size tree (25-30) m (Farjon 2010a).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):80

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Heldreich's Pine is not an important timber tree, although it is planted in some Balkan countries with timber production as an objective. The wood is used locally for heavy construction or as round timber, e.g. for poles, and to build traditional fences. In Albania it was used as building material (especially for doors) and to produce the fermentation cask (beer, vegetables, and wine) (L. Shuka pers. comm. 2016). Due to its longevity, it is valued in dendroclimatology for the reconstruction of past climates (Todaro et al. 2007). Its main value is as an ornamental tree and it is fairly widely cultivated for this purpose (Vendramin et al. 2008). As a young tree it forms a dense, conical crown and has attractive glaucous to light grey shoots and dark green needles. In cultivation it grows relatively fast, given better conditions than in its natural habitat. Several cultivars are known, usually under the synonym P. leucodermis. Some of these are slow growing 'dwarf' conifers. In the Balkans, a number of botanical varieties have been named under P. heldreichii but it is not known if any of these are in cultivation.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): If reports cited in Vidacović (1991) are reliable and confirmed by genetic research, hybridization with (planted) Pinus nigra could be a potential threat to the integrity of regeneration if such plantations are near natural stands and large enough to cause “swamping” from introgressing pollen. Research would have to confirm or discard this potential threat in situations where this is relevant.

According to Vendramin et al. (2008), natural distribution in southern Italy is restricted to five small and fragmented stands. As a consequence of this fragmentation and the subsequent reduced gene flow and increased genetic drift leading to low effective population size, at least three of these populations are vulnerable to the loss of genetic diversity.

In the past, the species was threatened by intensive exploitation and forest clearance in Bulgaria (Valchev and Roussakova 2015) although remaining populations are within protected areas. Populations in Kosovo have been impacted by fire, by insects (Blastophagus spp.), and road and tourism developments (KEPA 2008). Fire, small sub-population size and limited natural recruitment are cited as threats in the Republic of Macedonia (V. Matevski pers. comm. 2016). In Albania the main threats are fire, resulting in habitat fragmentation, and illegal cutting (L. Shuka pers. comm. 2016). Although the species can provisionally colonize burned areas, fires are a serious threat for old populations and older individuals, at least in the western portion of the species range (Gargano and Bernardo 2006).

Grazing due to nomadic horses appears to severely constrain recruitment in the Italian subpopulations, contributing to the creation of gaps in their structure (D. Gargano pers. comm. 2016).

In some stands, especially in Italy, there is a marked absence of intermediate age classes so that stands are composed mainly of senescent old trees and saplings: such an unbalanced age structure suggests that grazing can significantly contribute to reduced recruitment in P. heldreichii populations (Gargano and Bernardo 2006; Todaro et al. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In some parts of the range of this species, conservation actions are required, and research is needed into habitat and population trends.

This species is present in several protected areas. For example, in FYR Macedonia, it is found in the Galičica National Park and the Mavrovo National Park (V. Matevski pers. comm. 2016). In Greece, presence in the Natura 2000 sites includes Oros Olympos (GR1250001), Ethnikos Drymos Pindou (Valia Kalnta) - Evryteri Periochi (GR1310003), Koryfes Orous Orvilos (GR1260005) and Oros Vermio (GR1210001). In Bulgaria, where the species has been assessed as Vulnerable, a significant part of the species habitat is within the Bayuvi Dupki – Dzhindzhiritsa Strict Nature Reserve (Pirin National Park) and in the Alibotush Strict Nature Reserve in the Slavyanka Mts., and the species is present in Natura 2000 sites and protected under the Biodiversity Act (Valchev and Roussakova 2015). In Italy, the species is within the Parco Nazionale del Pollino (IT9310014), and the Pollino e Orsomarso (IT9310303), Serra delle Ciavole-Serra di Crispo (IT9310013), Pollinello-Dolcedorme (IT9310003) Natura 2000 sites. In Kosovo, the species is protected within the Oshljaku, Pisha e madhe, and Maja e arnenit Bosnian pine reserves, and is present within the Mali Sharr National Park (KEPA 2008). In Albania, the tree occurs in the Gjallica, Korabi, Koritnik, Munella, Pashtriku, Valamara and Zeba mountains including the northern Albanian Alps, and in the Llogara, Lura Shebenik-Jabllanica, and Tomorri National Parks (L. Shuka pers. comm. 2016).

In Italy the species was included into a seed banking program, and seed stocks from the Pollino National Park are now stored at the Plant Germplasm Bank of Pavia University, and at the Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank (D. Gargano pers. comm. 2016).

Citation: Caković, D., Gargano, D., Matevski, V. & Shuka, L. 2017. Pinus heldreichii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T42368A95725658. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
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