Pinus radiata 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Pinus radiata
Species Authority: D.Don
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Monterey Pine, Cedros Island Pine, Insignis Pine, Guadalupe Island Pine, Radiata Pine
Spanish Pino Insigne
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: 2011-04-08
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P., Perez de la Rosa, J. & Stritch, L.

Based on the assessments of the two varieties, it is considered that although the large subpopulation on Cedros Island (var. binata) appears stable, the situation on the mainland (var. radiata) is more severe and in total the population is in continuing decline. There are no more than five locations and the population is severely fragmented. With a combined area of occupancy of less than 30 km² the species meets B2 for Endangered.

Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Lower Risk/conservation dependent (LR/cd)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The typical variety of Monterey Pine occurs along the coast of California in three disjunct populations in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, Monterey County, and San Luis Obispo County. Pinus radiata var. binata occurs on Guadalupe and Cedros islands, Mexico. Although trees on these islands differ in morphology from those in the United States, they have been shown to be most closely related to P. radiata.
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (Baja California, Guadalupe I.); United States (California)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 30
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 116144
Number of Locations: 5
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1100
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Subpopulations exist on the mainland coast of California (three) and on two islands off the coast of Mexico (two to three); only one of these is healthy and regenerating well.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Pinus radiata is in its natural habitat confined to promontories and strips of rocky coast as well as two offshore islands; it is rarely found more than 11 km from the sea. The cold ocean water moving down the Californian coast substantially influences the local climate, raising humidity, tempering heat from the sun and causing almost daily summer fogs. On a rare clear day in summer temperatures can quickly rise to 40º C, coming down to only 15º C on the next foggy day. On Guadalupe Island, which lies ca. 250 km offshore surrounded by deep, cold water, fog is nearly perpetual during the growing season. Rain fall is erratic, fog drip provides most of the moisture to the soil and the trees. On the islands the species does not grow below 300 m and ascends to the summit ridges at 1,100 m a.s.l. on Guadalupe Island, but on the mainland it grows from sea level to the base of inland hills and does not exceed 400 m a.s.l. The island populations form pure stands with some undergrowth of Quercus tomentella (Guadalupe Island) or Juniperus californica (Cedros Island). On the mainland it forms pure stands or mixed stands with Cupressus macrocarpa, Pinus attenuata (both like P. radiata with serotinous cones adapted to fire), Arbutus menziesii, and Quercus agrifolia. In the absence of fire, Pseudotsuga menziesii establishes itself, especially in the southernmost population at Año Nuevo, and would become dominant to the exclusion of P. radiata. In stands with Cupressus macrocarpa there is very little or no undergrowth.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 30

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Monterey Pine or Radiate Pine, as it is now commonly called among foresters internationally, is the most widely planted tree species in the world. Its tiny natural relict stands fall into insignificance to the millions of hectares planted in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa, Kenya, and Spain. Provenance is almost exclusively from mainland California. Its spectacularly rapid growth under plantation conditions is the main reason for its success in commercial forestry and for many of the above mentioned countries it is the most important timber tree. The wood is rather brittle and coarse grained and most suitable for pulp wood, but in many countries where it has been introduced it is also put to other uses. These are e.g. construction, carpentry and joinery, veneers, furniture, laminated wood, and crates and boxes. This species has been widely planted as a landscape tree in urban areas, parks and large gardens, where it can grow to huge size in relatively short time. It is a very suitable tree to form a living screen against wind and traffic noise and tolerates relatively high levels of air pollution.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats are (were) logging, feral goats, an introduced alien pathogen (pitch canker fungus), and competition from other trees in the absence of periodic fires.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Legal protection and inclusion in protected areas are in place. Eradication of goats on Guadalupe Island has been undertaken. Fire management needs to be implemented in an ecologically responsible way. Research for immunity or resistance against pathogen needs to be undertaken.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Land/water management -> 2.2. Invasive/problematic species control
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Systematic monitoring scheme:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Percentage of population protected by PAs (0-100):71-80
  Area based regional management plan:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:Yes
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Yes
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Yes
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score: Past Impact 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.2. Supression in fire frequency/intensity
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.7. Reduced reproductive success

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species (Capra hircus)
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Past Impact 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.7. Reduced reproductive success

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species (Fusarium circinatum)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

♦  Fibre
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Construction or structural materials
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

Anonymous. 1999. Fungus threatens pines worldwide. American Forests, Autumn 1999, p. 14.

Farjon, A. 2001. World Checklist and Bibliography of Conifers. 2nd edition. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus radiata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42408A2977955. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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