Pinus strobus var. chiapensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Pinus strobus var. chiapensis
Species Authority: Martínez
Parent Species:
Common Name/s:
Spanish Pinabete, Ocote, Pino Blanco
Pinus chiapensis (Martínez) Andresen

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.

1998 Vulnerable
1997 Vulnerable (Walter and Gillett 1998)

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.

Guatemala; Mexico (Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz)
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).

Population Trend: Decreasing

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

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.
Citation: Thomas, P. & Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus strobus var. chiapensis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 17 April 2014.
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