Pinus strobus var. chiapensis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Pinus strobus var. chiapensis
Species Authority: Martínez
Parent Species:
Common Name(s):
Spanish Pinabete, Ocote, Pino Blanco
Pinus chiapensis (Martínez) Andresen
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-04-11
Assessor(s): Thomas, P. & Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Perez de la Rosa, J. & Gardner, M.

Pinus strobus var. chiapensis has a relatively large extent of occurrence. Within this area, subpopulations tend to small and isolated, with the largest subpopulations occurring in Chiapas and Oaxaca. The total area of occupancy, based on herbarium specimens representing all major localities, and using standard IUCN mapping techniques (IUCN 2011) is estimated to be 384 km2. Subpopulations are severely fragmented and there is a continuing decline in area of occupancy, quality of habitat and probably number of mature individuals. On this basis it is assessed as Endangered under the B2 criteria.

Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Vulnerable (VU)
1998 Vulnerable (V)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Recorded from southern Mexico: in Guerrero, E Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas; and Guatemala: in the departments of El Quiche and Huehuetenango. In Mexico it is most abundant in the States of Oaxaca and Chiapas; isolated occurrences are also found in Puebla, Guerrero, and Veracruz.

Countries occurrence:
Guatemala; Mexico (Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 384
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 322631
Lower elevation limit (metres): 500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Subpopulations are generally small, 5 to 20 ha throughout its range. The largest subpopulation at El Rincon in Oaxacana is estimated to have more than 50,000 mature individuals spread over an area of 1,500 ha of secondary forest (Castillo and Trujillo 2008).

Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This variety occurs in the mountains of southern Mexico and Guatemala, at altitudes from 500 m (but usually 800 m) to 2,200 m a.s.l. It is usually found in mixed angiosperm-coniferous forest, or mixed with other pines in pine forests (less commonly). These are often cloud forests, with frequent fog, especially those ranges facing the Gulf of Mexico. Annual precipitation may exceed 3,000 mm. This variety experiences no frost.

At low elevations it is associated with: Pinus maximinoi, P. oocarpa, P. devoniana, P. pringlei, at higher elevations with: Pinus ayacahuite, P. pseudostrobus, P. patula var. longipedunculata, P. tecunumanii and P. teocote. In wet places it also commonly occurs with Cyathaea mexicana (Dvorak et al. 2000).

For a more detailed review of this variety’s ecology see Castillo et al. 2009.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 30

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Logging for its timber has been widespread, and although large trees are becoming rare in many locations, is still ongoing. Logs are used as beams in roofs of rural houses and  buildings. The wood is used as firewood for cooking and for furniture manufacturing, and may be preferred over that of other coexisting pine species. The wood was a source of pulp for industrial papermaking in Oaxaca, before commercial exploitation was restricted. The resin is a fuel source, and is successfully applied to humans and domestic animals as an ointment in wounds and bone fractures (del Castillo and Acosta Castellanos 2002). A resin extract is said to be helpful as an analgesic for rheumatic pain, and an inner bark infusion can be helpful against coughing (Castillo et al. 2009).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Although a valuable timber tree logged locally, the main reason for its decline is deforestation and/or forest degradation. In some parts of its range it has historically been overexploited for ship building / repairs. The forest area originally occupied by P. strobus var. chiapensis is being cut for growing corn, coffee plantations, or for establishing  pastures for cattle, drastically reducing the subpopulations. An additional cause of destruction is the introduction of exotic species, such as Casuarina equisetifolia L. and Cupressus lusitanica Miller in forests dominated by P. chiapensis. Levels of threat vary between regions and subpopulations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Pinus strobus var. chiapensis requires disturbance for regeneration. In a review of recent studies relating to its exploitation and conservation status it was identified as having been one of "the most abundant tree species in early successional stands of the tropical montane cloud forest playing a key role in ecosystem regeneration particularly in areas managed under slash-and-burn practices" (Castillo et al. 2009). Well preserved landscapes tended to have smaller populations as do areas that have been largely deforested. What is required to ensure its continued presence is a careful balance of forest preservation and forest utilization.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.2. Wood & pulp plantations -> 2.2.2. Agro-industry plantations
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Medicine - human & veterinary
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Fuels
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Construction or structural materials
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Other household goods
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Castillo, R.F. and S. Acosta. 2002. Ethnobotanical notes on Pinus strobus var. chiapensis. Anales del Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Serie Botánica 73(2): 319-327.

Castillo, R.F., S.T. Argueta and C. Sanjez-Romero. 2009. Pinus chiapensis, a keystone species: Genetics, ecology, and conservation. Forest Ecology and Management 257: 2201-2208.

Castillo, R.F. & S. Trujillo. 2008. Effect of inbreeding depression on outcrossing rates among populations of a tropical pine. . New Phytologist 177: 517-524.

Castillo, R.F., S. Trujillo-Argueta, N. Sanchez-Vargas and A.C. Newton. 2010. Genetic factors associated with population size may increase extinction risks and decrease colonization potential in a keystone tropical pine. Evolutionary Applications 4: 574-588.

Dvorak, W.S. and Donahue, J.K. 1992. CAMCORE Cooperative Research Review 1980-1992. Forestry Department, North Carolina State University, CAMCORE (La Cooperativa de Recursos de Coníferas de Centroamérica y México), USA.

Dvorak, W.S., Gutiérrez, E.A., Hodge, G.R., Romero, J.L., Stock, J. and Rivas, O. 2000. Pinus chiapensis. Conservation & Testing of Tropical & Subtropical Forest Tree Species by the CAMCORE Cooperative, pp. 34-51. College of Natural Resources, NC. USA.

Farjon, A. 1994. Annotations to: Conservation status listing of conifers of the world dated 2 February 1994.

Farjon, A. 2010. Conifer Database (June 2008). In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2010 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., eds). Reading, UK Available at:

Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Farjon, A. et al. 1998. Data collection forms for conifer species completed by the IUCN/SSC Conifer Specialist Group between 1996 and 1998.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Perry, J.P. 1991. The Pines of Mexico and Central America. Timber Press, Portland.

Santiago V., T., Ochoa G., S. and Alemán S., T. 1997. Guía para identificar pinos de la Meseta Central de Chiapas, México. Guías científicas ECOSUR.

Syring, J., R.F. Del Castillo, R. Cronn and A. Liston. 2007. Multiple nuclear loci reveal the distinctiveness of the threatened neotropical Pinus chiapensis. Systematic Botany 32(4): 703-717.

The Nature Conservancy. 1996. Natural Heritage Central Database. (Status and distribution data on Latin American plants, developed in collaboration with Latin American Conservation Data Centers and Missouri Botanical Garden).

Citation: Thomas, P. & Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus strobus var. chiapensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T32499A2820834. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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