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Pinus thunbergii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES PINACEAE

Scientific Name: Pinus thunbergii
Species Authority: Parl.
Common Name(s):
English Japanese Black Pine

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-01-31
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P.
Justification:
This species is widespread and very common in Japan and coastal parts of South Korea and is therefore assessed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Recorded from Japan: S Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku; and South Korea (near the coast).
Countries:
Native:
Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku); Korea, Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is thought to be stable.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This pine grows at low to middle elevations (up to ca. 1,000 m above sea level) in the coastal hills and mountains of the islands of Japan and South Korea, where the climate is warm temperate (with little or no frost) and moist. These regions would have had a predominantly deciduous angiosperm forest cover, with conifers mixed in especially on poor, water-logged soils and on dry slopes and mountain ridges. Pinus thunbergii would have occupied these habitats as well as those in close proximity to the sea coast. Extensive cultivation has removed the natural vegetation in most areas, but as a pioneer species P. thunbergii has been able to hold its own; it has been much planted in afforestation schemes from where it could spread in adjacent uncultivated areas. Its tolerance of salty winds makes it a species that grows well on the sea coasts of Japan, both naturally and when planted; naturally its trunk becomes bent and the crown flattened under severe exposure.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The wood of this pine is similar to that of the Black pine (Pinus nigra) and is used for general construction, poles, railway sleepers, fences, pallets and crates, flooring, fibreboard, and wood pulp. Japanese Black Pine is mostly used as a windbreak tree and to stabilize sand dunes in coastal areas near urbanization. It is also widely planted as an ornamental tree in Japan and Korea (somewhat less commonly in other countries) and some cultivars have been selected especially in Japan to suit traditional Japanese gardening. It is also being used in bonsai growing. In the USA this species was widely planted for afforestation in coastal areas of New England, until susceptibility to pests and diseases put an end to these schemes and forced the species back to arboreta and parks, where solitary trees are usually safe. Minor uses in Korea are of the needles in pastry and in (medicinal) soft drinks.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Logging is a potential threat if done non-sustainably; this was perhaps the case in the past and locally. Urban development, particularly in coastal areas may also have reduced the area of occupancy in the past. Such losses do not appear to have led to an overall decline.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is present in many reserves and is widely used for afforestation within its native range.

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