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Pinus roxburghii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
PLANTAE TRACHEOPHYTA PINOPSIDA PINALES PINACEAE

Scientific Name: Pinus roxburghii
Species Authority: Sarg.
Common Name(s):
English Chir Pine, Long-leaved Indian 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 must have had a reduction in area of occupancy and numbers of mature trees in the past due to over-exploitation, but matters appear to have improved due to better management of the forests. If there is still decline, it is probably insufficient to seriously impact this common and widespread species

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Recorded across the Himalayas, from Pakistan to NE India, Arunachal Pradesh (Assam, Kameng District).
Countries:
Native:
Bhutan; China (Tibet [or Xizang]); India (Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh); Nepal; Pakistan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Population trends are unknown for this species.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Pinus roxburghii is widespread and common in the north-south oriented outer valleys of the Himalaya and its foothills and often forms pure stands especially on dry, fire-prone slopes. Mature trees are relatively fire resistant; regeneration after destructive fires can be massive and rapid when it acts as a pioneer species. In prolonged dry seasons it may drop most of its leaves. It occurs on a variety of substrates, from deep soil to bare rocks. Its altitudinal range is from 400 m to 2,300 m a.s.l., with the highest growing, scattered individuals at 2,500 m. Pinus roxburghii is restricted to the monsoon belt with summer rains. In its higher altitudinal range this pine species is commonly mixed with Cedrus deodara and Pinus wallichiana, but occurs below the forest zone characterized by species of Abies. Broad-leaved trees (angiosperms) are commonly Quercus incana, Schima wallichii and Rhododendron arboreum. Towards its lower limit angiosperms become more dominant and the pines occur on rocky slopes with a northern or eastern aspect.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Chir Pine is an important pine for resin production in the Himalayan region, especially in NW India. It has been the basis of the Indian naval stores industry, initiated by the Indian Forest Department under British rule in 1888 (Langenheim 2003) to supply the British Empire with turpentine and related products. Later, it became the main source of these substances for India, but production was falling dramatically due to poor management of the forests and destructive tapping methods. In recent years these have improved under more rigorous management. Artificial camphor is the main end product derived from resin of P. roxburgii in the region; it is also used for medicinal treatments. The wood is of importance for railway sleepers after treatment for preservation, and for construction, carpentry and joinery; it is also pulped for the paper industry. The bark has a high tannin content (11-14%) and is used for tanning leather and for staining wood to give it an orange colour. The seeds are edible but not very good. The needles are used for animal bedding and mixed with manure serve as a traditional fertilizer for agriculture. This species is uncommon in cultivation outside India and Pakistan, but has been introduced to South Africa as a forestry plantation tree. It is sometimes seen as an ornamental tree in countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Despite the fact that in its natural habitat P. roxburghii does not occur in the Himalayan frost zone, some provenances could prove to be hardy

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): While forest destruction and logging have reduced the area of occupancy (AOO) of P. roxburghii, it is still covering extensive areas (an estimated 0.87 million ha in India alone) and is therefore not considered to be threatened with extinction. Improved methods of resin tapping have decreased the risk of trees dying prematurely

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in some protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

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

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: http://www.catalogueoflife.org/.

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

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Langenheim, J.H. 2003. Plant resins: chemistry, evolution, ecology and ethnobotany. Timber Press, Portland - Cambridge.


Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus roxburghii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 September 2014.
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