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Caribbean pine

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The Caribbean pine, Pinus caribaea, is a hard pine, native to Central America, Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It belongs to Australes Subsection in Pinus Subgenus. It inhabits tropical and subtropical coniferous forests, which include both lowland savannas and montane forests. Wildfire plays a major role limiting the range of this species, but it has been reported that this tree regenerates quickly and aggressively, replacing latifoliate trees.[1] In zones not subject to periodic fires, the succession continues and a tropical forest thrives.

Caribbean pine
Pinus caribaea
Pinus caribaea Morelet 1851 2013 001.jpg
Pinus caribaea specimen in El Hatillo, Miranda, Venezuela
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Subfamily: Pinoideae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: (Pinus)
Species: P. (P.) caribaea
Binomial name
Pinus (Pinus) caribaea
Pinus caribaea range map 1.png
Natural range

Pinus hondurensis Sénéclauze (but see text)

It has been widely cultivated outside its natural range, and introduced populations can be found nowadays in Jamaica, Colombia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Fiji and China.



The species has three accepted varieties:[2]

Colonization of the Caribbean basinEdit

It has been proposed that the pines of Australes subsection (of which Caribbean pine is part) arrived to the Caribbean basin from Southeastern USA.[3] Recently, paleoclimatic[4] and genetic data[5] have been used to propose that Pinus caribaea would have originated in Central America. According to chloroplast genetic data, Pinus caribaea lineages colonized the Caribbean islands from populations in Central America at least twice (one leading to Cuban populations and another leading to Bahamaninan populations).[5] Moreover, pine populations in the Caribbean basin appear to have been larger during the maximum glacial periods, due to the increase in both emerged land and dry conditions.


While the species as a whole is not threatened, the typical variety of Cuba has markedly declined due to deforestation and is now considered a vulnerable species by the IUCN.[6] Populations in Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Islands would be particularly vulnerable in a global warming scenario due to the increase in sea level and consequent reduction in the emerged land area.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Vázquez-Yanes, C.; A. I. Batis Muñoz; M. I. Alcocer Silva; M. Gual Díaz & C. Sánchez Dirzo (1999). "Árboles y arbustos potencialmente valiosos para la restauración ecológica y la reforestación" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 2002.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ "The Plant List: Pinus caribaea". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2013. 
  3. ^ Adams, D.C., Jackson, J.F. (1997). A phylogenetic analysis of the southern pines (Pinus subsect. Australes Loudon): biogeographical and ecological implications. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 110: 681–692.
  4. ^ Dvorak, W. S., Hamrick, J. L. &Gutierrez E. A. (2005). The origin of Caribbean pine in the seasonal swamps of the Yucatán. International Journal of Plant Sciences 166: 985-994.
  5. ^ a b Jardón-Barbolla, L., Delgado-Valerio, P., Geada-López, G., Vázquez-Lobo, A., & Pinero D. (2011). Phylogeography of Pinus subsection Australes in the Caribbean Basin. Annals of Botany 107: 229-241.
  6. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help);