Native conifers and their progressive disappearance in the Andes.
The native coniferous forests of the Andes have been so reduced by over-exploitation that they now -occupy only 5% of the total forest area in Chile and 3% in Argentina. They exist for the most part on unfavourable soils, while the more exigent broadleaved species have replaced them on the better sites. The following important species are described, with notes on their silvicultural characters, distribution and importance: Araucaria araucana, Libocedrus chilensis, L. tetragona, Fitzroya cupressoides, Saxegothaea conspicua, Podocarpus andinus, P. nubigenus, P. salignus and Dacrydium fonkii. Natural regeneration of these species is practically nil, they are difficult to grow, and in any case offer little inducement to replant because of their slow growth. The only way to preserve the existing forests is by stricter legislation. [Cf. F.A. 18 No. 2562. KEYWORDS: Araucaria araucana \ Dacrydium fonkii \ plant ecology \ Fitzroya cupressoides \ Libocedrus chilensis \ Libocedrus tetragona \ Podocarpus andinus \ Podocarpus nubigenus \ Podocarpus salignus \ Saxegothaea conspicua \ silvicultural characters \ trees \ Silviculture \ Argentina native conifers \ Chile