Pinus koraiensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Pinus koraiensis Siebold & Zucc.
Common Name(s):
English Korean Pine
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-13
Assessor(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Katsuki, T. & Luscombe, D
Pinus koraiensis has a wide distribution in the Russian Far East, northeast China and North Korea. Smaller subpopulations also occur in South Korea and Japan. In the Russian Far East legal and illegal exploitation for its timber has resulted in a decline in its area of occupancy of up to 50% (CITES 2010). In China over-exploitation for its edible nuts and to a lesser extent, its timber is leading to forest degradation in some areas (Tang 2010). There is little species specific information about its status in North Korea although generalized reports into the state of the environment (UNEP 2003, Hayes 2009) and satellite based studies on deforestation in and around areas such as Changbaishan/ Baekdu-san Biosphere Reserves (Tang 2010) indicate that some decline is likely. In South Korea and Japan the small subpopulations are thought to be stable. Despite the continuing exploitation, this species' large distribution and (still) large overall population size means that it does not yet meet the requirements for any of the threatened categories or those for Near Threatened. This situation may change within the next decade should current trends continue.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Recorded from China: Heilongjiang, Jilin; Japan: Hokkaido, Honshu; North Korea; South Korea; and Russian Far East: Amur, Khabarovsk, Primorye. Both the extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are currently beyond thresholds for a threatened category.
Countries occurrence:
China (Heilongjiang, Jilin); Japan (Honshu); Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Russian Federation (Amur, Khabarovsk, Primoryi)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):200
Upper elevation limit (metres):2500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:A very widespread species whose subpopulations are in decline in major parts of its range.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:In the Russian Far East this pine grows from 200 m to 600 m a.s.l., 500 m to 1,300 m a.s.l. in China, and in Japan it occurs to an altitude of 2,500 m. The climate has a summer monsoon character within proximity of the coast, but with a strong continental influence further inland. Temperature extremes range from +37º C to -45º C within its natural range. Pinus koraiensis grows in dry places on podzols among deciduous broad-leaved trees like oaks, poplars and birches, but on the Russian coast of the Sea of Japan it is codominant with Abies holophylla, forming groves of conifers in a more varied deciduous broad-leaved forest. In Japan it also occurs together with other pines. In Korea and NE China ('Manchuria') this pine has been heavily exploited, resulting in the disappearance of many magnificent pine forests.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):25

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Korean Pine is a highly important timber tree; in large parts of its range it has been over-exploited, but it is now used widely in afforestation schemes especially in NE China. Its timber is of good quality, light and soft, straight grained and easy to work with in milling and carpentry. It is fairly decay resistant and therefore finds uses like telephone poles, railway sleepers, wooden bridges, and boat building. In construction it provides building timbers as well as flooring, plywood and veneers. It can be chipped for particleboard or flakeboard manufacture, or pulped for the paper industry. More specialized uses are furniture, sports equipment and musical instruments. Resin is extracted from wood pulp and used to produce turpentine and other products. The seeds are rich in vegetative oil with a high nutritive value, and this is used in the food processing industry; seeds can also be consumed whole and most of the imported pine kernels in Europe and the USA are now sourced from this species. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental tree in China, Korea and Japan, but less common in Europe and the US, where until recently only a limited number of cultivars was known, but now on the increase.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Legal and illegal logging is reducing its area of occupancy. In Russia, it is estimated that its abundance has been reduced by up to 50% in the past two decades (CITES 2010). In northeastern China and North Korea over-exploitation for its edible seed (a valuable source of local incomes) has led to some forest degradation and a decline in forest health (Tang 2010). In northeastern China and South Korea natural forests and plantations have also been impacted by white pine blister rust (Zhang et al. 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

This species occurs in several protected areas within its wide range, but also outside such reserves. It is now listed on Appendix III of CITES in an attempt to control illegal logging. In November 2010 the Russian Government announced a ban on the logging of Pinus koraiensis in its territories in order to assist the conservation of the Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) of which the pine forests are its key habitat.

Citation: Thomas, P. & Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus koraiensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42373A2975987. . Downloaded on 17 July 2018.
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