Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Pinus caribaea
(Caribbean pine)

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Datasheet

Pinus caribaea (Caribbean pine)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 19 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Pinus caribaea
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Caribbean pine
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Gymnospermae
  •         Class: Pinopsida
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • P. caribaea is a tree which is widely commercialised for its wood and which has been intentionally introduced worldwide to establish forestry plantations since the second part of the nineteenth century. It is c...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Alamikamba, Nicaragua.
TitleP. caribaea var. hondurensis
CaptionAlamikamba, Nicaragua.
CopyrightE.A. Gutierrez, COMCORE
Alamikamba, Nicaragua.
P. caribaea var. hondurensisAlamikamba, Nicaragua.E.A. Gutierrez, COMCORE
On a  dry site, El Porvenir, Honduras.
TitleP. caribaea var. hondurensis
CaptionOn a dry site, El Porvenir, Honduras.
CopyrightW.S. Dvorak, COMCORE
On a  dry site, El Porvenir, Honduras.
P. caribaea var. hondurensisOn a dry site, El Porvenir, Honduras.W.S. Dvorak, COMCORE
Plantation, Wilgeboom, South Africa.
TitlePlantation
CaptionPlantation, Wilgeboom, South Africa.
CopyrightEnvironmentek, CSIR, South Africa
Plantation, Wilgeboom, South Africa.
PlantationPlantation, Wilgeboom, South Africa.Environmentek, CSIR, South Africa
Plantation, Mountain Pine Ridge, Wilgeboom, Honduras.
TitlePlantation
CaptionPlantation, Mountain Pine Ridge, Wilgeboom, Honduras.
CopyrightEnvironmentek, CSIR, South Africa
Plantation, Mountain Pine Ridge, Wilgeboom, Honduras.
PlantationPlantation, Mountain Pine Ridge, Wilgeboom, Honduras.Environmentek, CSIR, South Africa

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Pinus caribaea Morelet

Preferred Common Name

  • Caribbean pine

Variety

  • Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis (Griseb.) W.H.G. Barrett & Golfari
  • Pinus caribaea var. caribaea
  • Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis (Sénéclauze) W.H.G. Barrett & Golfari

Other Scientific Names

  • Pinus bahamensis Grisebach
  • Pinus cubensis Sarg. ex Griseb. var. anomala Rowlee
  • Pinus hondurensis Sénécl
  • Pinus recurvata Rowlee
  • Pinus taeda var. heterophylla Elliott

International Common Names

  • English: Caribbean pine tree; Caribbean pitch pine; Cuban pine; Nicaragua pine; Nicaraguan pine; pitch pine; yellow pine
  • Spanish: ocote blanco; pino amarilo; pino antillano; pino caribaea de Honduras; pino caribeño; pino colorado; pino de la costa; pino hondureño; pino macho
  • French: pin caraïbe; pin de Cuba; pin des Caraïbes; pin jaune; pin mâte
  • Chinese: jia le bisong

Local Common Names

  • Australia: Bahamas pitch pine; Honduras Caribbean pine; Honduras pine; southern pine
  • Bahamas: Bahamas pine (var. bahamensis); Caribbean pine-tree (var. bahamensis); yellow pine (var. bahamensis)
  • Belize: white pine; yellow pine
  • Cook Islands: paina papa’a
  • Costa Rica: pino caribe
  • Cuba: Pino amarillo; pino macho (var caribaea).
  • El Salvador: pino caribeño
  • Fiji: Fiji pine (var. hondurensis)
  • Germany: Kiefer, Karibik-
  • Guatemala: ocote blanco; pino de Petén
  • Honduras: pino de costa
  • Italy: pino dei Caraibi
  • Mexico: pino amarillo
  • Samoa: paina
  • Tonga: paini

EPPO code

  • PIUCB (Pinus caribaea)
  • PIUCH (Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis)

Trade name

  • Honduran yellow pine

Summary of Invasiveness

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P. caribaea is a tree which is widely commercialised for its wood and which has been intentionally introduced worldwide to establish forestry plantations since the second part of the nineteenth century. It is classified as an invasive species causing serious problems to natural habitats in Bangladesh, Brazil, Australia, the Cook Islands, Hawaii, Guam, New Caledonia and French Polynesia (Oppenheimer, 2003; Afrin et al., 2010; Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, 2010; Simberloff et al., 2010; PIER, 2013). P. caribaea is a fast-growing tree that grows forming dense monocultures over extensive areas of land displacing native vegetation and altering hydrology, nutrient cycling, and fire regimes (Richardson, 1998, 1998b; Simberloff et al., 2010).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Gymnospermae
  •                 Class: Pinopsida
  •                     Family: Pinaceae
  •                         Genus: Pinus
  •                             Species: Pinus caribaea

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Pinaceae is a family of gymnosperms including about 11 genera and 210 species. Members of this family are mostly resinous trees or rarely shrubs found mostly in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere (Stevens, 2012). The genus Pinus includes 105 species.

P. caribaea belongs to Pinus section Diploxylon, characterized by hard timber and 2 xylem bundles. There are three varieties of Pinus caribaea recognized by taxonomists, P. caribaea var. caribaea, P. caribaea var. bahamensis and P. caribaea var. hondurensis. Number of needles per fascicle, cone size, and seed wing anatomy form the differences between the varieties. 

Prior to about 1950, P. caribaea was much confused in the literature with P. elliottii var. elliottii and P. elliotti var. densa, from the United States. Loock (1950) proposed that the pine in British Honduras (now Belize) had botanical differences to that of the USA and published the illegitimate name P. hondurensis Loock. 

In a later study, Little and Dorman (1952, 1954), confirmed the differences between the pines in Belize and the USA, and found that the differences also applied to the range of pines in Cuba, the Bahamas and the Caicos Islands. They concluded that the name P. caribaea Morelet first be given to the pines on Isla de Pinos (now Isla de la Juventud) and western Cuba and be retained for the pines of Central America and Caribbean, while slash pine in the USA should be referred to as P. elliottii Engelmann (Little and Dorman also raised the south Florida slash pine to the rank of a variety, and named it P. elliottii var. densa).

Description

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Resinous tree up to 30 m tall, often free from branches to a considerable height; bark grey to reddish brown, fissured and eventually shed in large flat wide plates. Leaves usually in 3's, rarely 4's or 5's, crowded at ends of branches, usually falling in second year, light or yellowish green, linear, rigid, apex a horny point, margin serrulate, 15-25 cm long, basal sheath persistent, light brown becoming dark brown or blackish, 1-2 cm long. Male stroboli numerous in sessile clusters, 1-3 cm long. Cones subterminal, reflexed, conical, 5-10 cm × 2.5-3.5 cm when closed, deciduous, scales tan or reddish brown, spreading or reflexed, swollen, ending in a minute prickle less than 1 mm long; seeds usually mottled grey or light brown, narrowly ovoid, approximately 6 mm long, with a well developed, usually persistent wing approximately 2.5 cm long (Stanley and Ross, 1989).

Distribution

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P. caribaea has a wide though very disjunct distribution in the Caribbean basin. The tree varies much, both morphologically and silviculturally, in the various parts of its range. Distribution of the different varieties of the species is distinct. 

P. caribaea var. caribaea is native to Cuba and the Isla de la Juventud (formally Isla de Pinos) which lies 56 km south of Havana across the shallow Gulf of the Batabano. The island is sufficiently distant from the main island to have a genetically distinct population (Birks and Barnes, 1990). 

P. caribaea var. bahamensis is native to the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands and P. caribaea var. hondurensis is native to the Caribbean Coast of southern Mexico (Quintana Roo and Yucatán), Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012; Govaerts, 2013). All varieties have been widely introduced throughout the tropics to be used in forestry plantations (Francis, 1992). In general, P. caribaea, and all its varieties, is distributed between the latitudes of 12°N to 27°N and longitudinally from 77°W to 90°W. In most cases the tree occurs at relatively low elevations, but in Central America it is sometimes found at altitudes of approximately 760 m. In rare cases it ascends to 1200 m (Poynton, 1977). 

On Cuba P. caribaea var. caribaea occupies low, rolling hills and mountain slopes in the western part of the island. It ascends to an altitude of 330 m and forms open forests to a limited extent. On the Isla de la Juventud, pure stands, on low coastal flats, can be found in the north-west end of the island. On the rest of the island it grows mixed with other species (Poynton, 1977). 

In the Bahamas, P. caribaea var. bahamensis is restricted to the four north-westerly islands of the group, namely Grand Bahama, Great Abaco, Andros and New Providence. Here at a mean altitude of approximately 6 m, it forms extensive, pure well-stocked forests. The extent of the same variety in the Caicos group is limited to the Islands of North Caicos and Pine Cay, the most easterly extension of the species' range (Poynton, 1977). 

P. caribaea var. hondurensis forms the pine forests of Belize and can be found on the savannas of the same country. The open forests are most widespread on the coastal plains in the vicinity of Stann Creak. However, forests reach up to 200 km inland and occur at altitudes of between 460 and 760 m, principally in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. In Guatemala, the same variety forms open woods of very limited extent but of particular high quality at an elevation of approximately 460 m, mainly in the vicinity of Poptun. The Guatemalan occurrences represent the most westerly penetration of the species. 

Pure, open forests of the hondurensis variety occupy very large areas of the Mosquito Coast of Honduras. They also occur sporadically further inland on foothills of the mountains at altitudes of up to 900 m. In Nicaragua P. caribaea forests are mainly confined to the Mosquito Coast and are a southward extension of those in the coastal savannas of Honduras (Poynton, 1977).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes

Asia

BangladeshPresentIntroduced Invasive Afrin et al., 2010Cultivated
ChinaPresent Planted
-GuangdongPresentIntroduced1961-1973Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012Cultivated
-GuangxiPresentIntroduced1961-1973Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012Cultivated
-JiangsuPresentIntroduced1961-1973Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012Cultivated
-JiangxiPresentIntroduced1961-1973Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012Cultivated
-YunnanPresentIntroduced1961-1973Wang et al., 1999Cultivated
IndiaPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
-KarnatakaPresentIntroduced Planted
-Madhya PradeshPresentIntroduced Planted
-OdishaPresentIntroduced Planted
IndonesiaPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
-JavaPresentIntroduced Planted
IranPresentIntroduced Planted
MalaysiaPresent Planted
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
-SabahPresentIntroduced Planted
-SarawakPresentIntroduced Planted
MaldivesPresentIntroduced Planted
NepalPresentIntroduced Planted
PakistanPresentIntroduced Planted
PhilippinesPresentIntroducedSoerianegara and Lemmens, 1993Cultivated
SingaporePresentIntroducedChong et al., 2009Cultivated
Sri LankaPresentIntroduced1970sFAO, 2001Cultivated
TaiwanPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2012Cultivated
ThailandPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
VietnamPresentIntroduced1963Dieters et al., 2006Cultivated

Africa

AngolaPresentIntroduced Planted
BeninPresentIntroduced Planted
CameroonPresentIntroduced Planted
CongoPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
Côte d'IvoirePresentIntroduced Planted
GambiaPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
GhanaPresentIntroducedSoerianegara and Lemmens, 1993Cultivated
GuineaPresentIntroducedOteng-Amoako and Brink, 2008Cultivated
Guinea-BissauPresentIntroducedOteng-Amoako and Brink, 2008Cultivated
KenyaPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
LiberiaPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001
MadagascarPresentIntroducedSoerianegara and Lemmens, 1993
MalawiPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
MauritiusPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
MozambiquePresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
NigerPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
NigeriaPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
RwandaPresentIntroducedOteng-Amoako and Brink, 2008Cultivated
Sierra LeonePresentIntroducedSoerianegara and Lemmens, 1993Cultivated
South AfricaPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
SudanPresentIntroducedSoerianegara and Lemmens, 1993Cultivated
SwazilandPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001
TanzaniaPresentIntroduced1950sFAO, 2001Cultivated
-ZanzibarPresentIntroduced1976Khiari and Iddi, 1991Cultivated
TogoPresentIntroduced Planted
UgandaPresentIntroduced1960sFAO, 2001Cultivated
ZambiaPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
ZimbabwePresentIntroduced1953FAO, 2001Cultivated

North America

CanadaPresentIntroducedSoerianegara and Lemmens, 1993Cultivated
MexicoPresentNativeGovaerts, 2013Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis: Native to southern Mexico (i.e., Quintana Roo, Yucatán)
USAPresent Planted
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive Oppenheimer, 2003Cultivated

Central America and Caribbean

BahamasPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis
BelizePresentNativeGovaerts, 2013Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis
Costa RicaPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
CubaPresentNative Not invasive Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Pinus caribaea var. caribaea. This species is listed as vulnerable (Berazaín et al., 2005).
DominicaPresentIntroduced Planted
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Cultivated
El SalvadorPresent Natural Styles and Hughes, 1983
GrenadaPresentIntroduced Planted
GuatemalaPresentPlanted, NaturalGovaerts, 2013
HaitiPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Cultivated
HondurasPresentNativeGovaerts, 2013Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis
JamaicaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Cultivated
MartiniquePresentIntroduced Planted
NicaraguaPresentNativeGovaerts, 2013Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis
PanamaPresentIntroducedFrancis, 1992Cultivated
Puerto RicoPresentIntroduced1959Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Cultivated: potentially invasive
Saint LuciaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Cultivated
Trinidad and TobagoPresentIntroducedFAO, 2001Cultivated
Turks and Caicos IslandsPresentNativeGovaerts, 2013Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroduced1960Simberloff et al., 2010Cultivated
BoliviaPresentIntroduced Planted
BrazilPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AmapaPresentIntroduced Planted
-BahiaPresentIntroduced Planted
-Minas GeraisPresentIntroduced Invasive I3N-Brasil, 2013Cultivated. Listed as invasive by early 1990s (Simberloff et al., 2010 and references therein)
-ParaPresentIntroduced Invasive I3N-Brasil, 2013
-ParaibaPresentIntroduced Invasive I3N-Brasil, 2013
-PernambucoPresentIntroduced Invasive I3N-Brasil, 2013
-Rio Grande do SulPresentIntroduced Invasive I3N-Brasil, 2013
-Sao PauloPresentIntroduced Invasive I3N-Brasil, 2013Cultivated. Listed as invasive by early 1990s (Simberloff et al., 2010 and references therein)
ChilePresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Easter IslandPresentIntroducedMeyer, 2008Cultivated
ColombiaPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2013Cultivated
EcuadorPresentIntroduced Planted
French GuianaPresentIntroducedFunk et al., 2007Cultivated
GuyanaPresentIntroducedFunk et al., 2007Cultivated
SurinamePresentIntroducedFunk et al., 2007Cultivated
VenezuelaPresentIntroduced1969Hokche et al., 2008Cultivated

Oceania

AustraliaPresent Planted
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentIntroduced Invasive FAO, 2001Cultivated
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Stanley and Ross, 1989Cultivated
Cook IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2002Cultivated
FijiPresent Planted FAO, 2001
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Florence et al., 2011Cultivated
GuamPresentIntroduced Invasive Meyer, 2000Cultivated
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced1968 Invasive Gargominy et al., 1996Cultivated
New ZealandPresentIntroducedOteng-Amoako and Brink, 2008Cultivated
NiuePresentIntroduced Invasive Space et al., 2004Cultivated
Pitcairn IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Florence et al., 2011Cultivated
SamoaPresentIntroducedSpace and Flynn, 2002Cultivated
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroducedHancock et al., 1988Cultivated
TongaPresentIntroducedSpace and Flynn, 2001Cultivated
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentIntroducedMeyer, 2008

History of Introduction and Spread

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P. caribaea and its varieties were intentionally introduced in forestry plantations in many tropical and subtropical countries during the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries (Richardson, 1998).

Between the 1950s and 1970s, P. caribaeawas introduced in forestry plantations in tropical Africa in countries such as Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe (Khiari and Iddi, 1991; Richardson, 1998, 1998b). P. caribaea var. caribaea from Cuba was introduced to southern China in 1961 with P. caribaea var. hondurensis from Guatemala and P. caribaea var. bahamensis following in 1973 (Wang et al., 1999). In 1955 the species was introduced in Fiji and in 1968 in New Caledonia: at present it is listed as an invasive species on both islands (PIER, 2013). In Puerto Rico, P. caribaea var. hondurensis was introduced in 1959 (Francis, 1992), and it is currently known to spread spontaneously (Acevedo-Rodríguez, Pers. Comm.).

Intentional Introduction

For the period between the 1880s and 1900s large scale commercial forestry plantations were established in many tropical and subtropical countries in both northern and southern hemispheres. Later, large-scale forestry pine plantations became widespread globally by the second half of the twentieth century (Richardson, 1998). During this period, one of the most important species introduced was P. caribaea. This species has also been introduced intentionally to be used for erosion control, as windbreaks and as ornamentals (Richardson, 1998b).

 

Risk of Introduction

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P. caribaea is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of the world to commercialize its wood. P. caribaea spreads by seeds which can be dispersed long-distance by wind, but also by animals and humans. Because this species is highly commercialized and it has been repeatedly introduced worldwide, the probability of colonizing new habitats remains high.

Habitat

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Within its native distribution range, P. caribaea and its varieties can be found growing at low elevation from the sea level to 850 metres. It is very common in habitats such as coastal flats, hills and mountain slopes in tropical and subtropical wet forests (Francis, 1992).

Outside its native ranges, P. caribaeae has been planted in tropical dry forests, tropical wet forests, tropical premontane wet forests, and tropical montane wet forests in elevations from sea level up to 1500 metres (Francis, 1992; Oteng-Amako and Brink, 2008).

P. caribaea has escaped from plantations into natural areas and can be found colonizing disturbed forests, open grounds along roadsides, open pastures and seasonally waterlogged areas (Barrett and Golfari, 1962; Francis, 1992; Oteng-Amako and Brink, 2008).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Chromosome number in P. caribaea is 2n = 24 and the capability for hybridization among pine species is very high (Ohri and Khoshoo, 1986). For example, the variety P. caribaea var. hondurensis forms natural hybrids with the species Pinus oocarpa (Francis, 1992; Oteng-Amako and Brink, 2008).

Reproductive Biology

P. caribaea is a monoecious species in which male and female cones occur on the same plant. In plantations, individuals usually start to produce female cones when they are 3-4 years old and the production of male cones starts later (Francis, 1992; Soerianegara and Lemmens, 1993; Oteng-Amako and Brink, 2008). The female cones are the equivalent of long shoots whereas the male cones are the equivalent of needle bundles (short shoots). There is a variation in the proportion of male to female cones, with some trees producing almost entirely male cones and others almost entirely female cones (Barrett and Golfari, 1962; Francis, 1992; Soerianegara and Lemmens, 1993; Oteng-Amako and Brink, 2008). Pollination in this species is by wind and the time between pollination and ripening of the female cones is 18-21 months. Cones are readily shed from the branches, but sometimes they persist for over one year (Oteng-Amako and Brink, 2008).

Physiology and Phenology

P. caribaea is a fast-growing species. In forestry plantations, 3-year old trees may reach heights of 6 to 8 metres, while 40 year-old trees may grow up to 35 m tall. Trees with diameters greater than 40 cm may be found in plantations after 25 years (Barrett and Golfari, 1962; Francis, 1992).

The period of maximum cone production occurs in May-June in Nicaragua, July in Belize and Honduras, June-July in Cuba, August in the Bahamas, and September in Puerto Rico (Francis, 1992).

Longevity

P. caribaeae is a long-lived tree and individuals may survive for 25-40 years (Francis, 1992).

Population Size

The varieties P. caribaea var. bahamensis and P. caribaea var. caribaea have been assessed as Vulnerable Species by the IUCN. These two varieties have a restricted native distribution range and factors such as habitat loss and climate change are affecting the conservation of these varieties in their natural habitats (Berazaín et al., 2005). In addition, large numbers of pine trees have been killed in the Turks and Caicos Islands in recent years due to an infestation by an accidentally introduced exotic scale insect (Toumeyella parvicornis).

Associations

Within its native distribution range, P. caribaea grows associated with vegetation characteristic of tropical and subtropical wet forests. The variety P. caribaea var. hondurensis commonly grows associated with Haemathoxylum sp. Curatella sp. Byrsonima crassifolia, Pinus oocarpa var. ochoterenai, Quercus spp., Curatella americana, Crescentia cujete, Calophyllum brasiliense, and Vochysia hondurensis and fern species in the genus Pteridium (Barrett and Golfari, 1962; Francis, 1992).

In the Bahamas, the variety P. caribaea var. bahamensis grows associated with Sabal palmetto, Thrinax spp., Coccothrinax argentata, Duranta repens, Metopium toxiferum, Tetrazygia bicolor, Cordia bahamensis, Ascyrum linifolium, Randia aculeata and Turnera ulmifolia (Francis, 1992).

Environmental Requirements

P. caribaea prefers to grow in wet climates at elevations from sea level to 850 metres, (but it has been planted in elevations up to 1500 metres) in areas with mean annual temperatures ranging from 20°C to 27°C, a mean maximum temperature of the warmest month of 28–34°C, a mean minimum temperature of the coldest month of 8–23°C, and average annual rainfalls ranging from 600 to 4000 mm. This species is moderately drought resistant (up to 6 months), but does not tolerate frost conditions. P. caribaea trees are moderately tolerant to wind and salt-spray, so that they can be planted near coastal areas. The species has the capability to grow in a great variety of soils but does best on well-drained, deep, fertile soils with pH ranging from 5 to 5.5. It tolerates seasonally waterlogged soils. The variety P. caribaea var.caribaea grows in Cuba on deep oxisols derived from serpentine rocks (Francis, 1992).

Young trees are highly susceptible to fire damage, but older trees are moderately fire resistant. P. caribaea is strongly light-demanding (Francis, 1992; Soerianegara and Lemmens, 1993; Oteng-Amako and Brink, 2008).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
27 12 0 1500

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) 5
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 20 27
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 28 34
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 8 23

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration06number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall6604000mm; lower/upper limits

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Armillaria mellea Pathogen All Stages not specific
Atta Herbivore All Stages not specific
Cylindrocladium Pathogen All Stages not specific
Dendroctonus frontalis Herbivore Adults not specific
Dendroctonus mexicanus Herbivore Adults not specific
Heterobasidion annosum Pathogen All Stages not specific
Ips avulsus Herbivore Adults not specific
Ips calligraphus Herbivore Adults not specific
Macrophomina phaseolina Pathogen All Stages not specific
Mycosphaerella gibsonii Pathogen All Stages not specific
Phytophthora cinnamomi Pathogen All Stages not specific
Thanetophorus cucumeris Pathogen Seedlings not specific
Toumeyella parvicornis Herbivore All Stages not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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An extensive range of pests and diseases has been recorded as affecting P. caribaea trees, mostly in forestry plantations. Most are not specific, but affect pine trees in general. The accidentally introduced exotic scale insect (Toumeyella parvicornis) has been recorded as affecting the species in its native range in the Turks and Caicos Islands in recent years.

The Agroforestry Tree Database from the World Agroforestry Centre says: “One of the most important insect pests is a bark beetle, the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis), found in the southern USA and Central America. A related species is D. mexicana, whose outbreak caused damage to several hectares of P. caribaea var. hondurensis in Honduras. Other bark beetles include Ips calligraphus, which is widely distributed in Canada and Central America to West Indies. Aphids such as the pine aphid (Pineus laevis [P. pini]) and Cinara carolina [C. atlantica] (North American aphid), leaf cutting insects such as Atta spp., and termites also attack the tree.”

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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P. caribaea spreads by seeds. Each tree is able to produce thousands of seeds which can be dispersed over long distances by the wind. Even when wind is the main seed dispersal factor, birds, rodents, and people, who gather the seeds for food, also disperse them. Seed will remain viable in the soil for about three years, although it can remain viable in cones for much longer (Barrett and Golfari, 1962; Francis, 1992; Soerianegara and Lemmens, 1993; Oteng-Amako and Brink, 2008).

Intentional Introduction

For the period between the 1880s and 1900s large scale commercial forestry plantations were established in many tropical and subtropical countries in both northern and southern hemispheres. Later, large-scale forestry pine plantations became widespread globally by the second half of the twentieth century (Richardson, 1998). During this period, one of the most important species introduced was P. caribaea. This species has also been introduced intentionally to be used for erosion control, as windbreaks and as ornamentals (Richardson, 1998b).

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative

Environmental Impact

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The main impacts of invasive pines result from the increased abundance of trees in habitats where they were previously absent or less common (Richardson, 1998). Many pine species are exceptional colonizers, with a wide range of adaptations that enable them to become invaders (Richardson, 1998, 1998b). P. caribaea has escaped from plantations and grows forming dense stands excluding native vegetation and altering hydrology, nutrient cycling, and fire regimes. This species also has the potential to displace native species due to the production of large amounts of litter that results in the acidification ofsoils on areas beneath pine trees (Richardson, 1998, 1998b; Simberloff et al., 2010).

Pine forest habitats generally offer fewer benefits to native wildlife than native vegetation, and contribute to an overall reduction in native biodiversity in many of the areas invaded (Richardson, 1998, 1998b).

Social Impact

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Pine plantations as well as areas dominated by invasive pines can have impacts on humans by causing reductions in water supplies, affecting recreation, and altering the character of landscapes (Richardson, 1998, 1998b).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Altered trophic level
  • Conflict
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of fire regime
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Soil accretion
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Allelopathic
  • Causes allergic responses
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Hybridization
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally illegally
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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The wood of P. caribaea is commonly used in the construction of houses, light flooring, carpentry, furniture, boxes, pallets, turnery, and toys. After treatment with preservatives, it is used in poles, posts, railway sleepers and mine props. Resin-soaked wood is popular for boat decking, because of its high durability. The wood is also suitable for interior trim, veneer, plywood, piles, vats, particle board and fibre board. P. caribaea is used as fuelwood and for the production of charcoal and paper.

P. caribaea trees also yield a good quality of oleoresin which is distilled to give turpentine and rosin (a solid form of resin). Turpentine is used in paint and batik industries, and rosin is used in the production of paper, soap, and glue. The oleoresin products are often termed “naval stores” because of their historic use for ship caulking.

P. caribaea is planted as windbreaks and as an ornamental and shade tree. The mat of needles (litter) on the ground is considered valuable for protection against soil erosion. The seeds are also consumed. The species has been used to rehabilitate chemically degraded soils in areas where mining activities were performed (Barrett and Golfari, 1962; Francis, 1992; Soerianegara and Lemmens, 1993; Oteng-Amako and Brink, 2008). The Agroforestry Tree Database from the World Agroforestry Centre reports that in Sri Lanka a massive reforestation programme was undertaken with plantations of P. caribaea to convert heavily eroded lands on which nothing else could be grown.

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry from Queensland (Australia: http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/documents/Biosecurity_EnvironmentalPests/IPA-Caribbean-Pine-PP129.pdf) suggests the following treatments:

  • Stem injections of N-phosphonomethyl-glycine (glyphosate), 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyloxyacetic acid (triclopyr) or 4-amino-3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinecarboxylic acid (picloram). The cut of the injection must be through the bark and deep enough to place the chemical in contact with the sapwood.
  • Basal bark treatment with 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyloxyacetic acid (triclopyr) or 4-amino-3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinecarboxylic acid (picloram). To increase the uptake of herbicide, remove the bark of the part of the tree trunk to be treated with an axe prior to basal barking

References

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Ashton PMS; Gamage S; Gunatilleke IAUN; Gunatilleke CVS, 1997. Restoration of a Sri Lankan rainforest: using Caribbean pine Pinus caribaea as a nurse for establishing late-successional tree species. Journal of Applied Ecology. 34: 4, 915-925.

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Inglis JE, 1984. The effects of some growth substances on the promotion and rooting of interfascicular shoots in Pinus caribaea Morelet. Commonwealth Forestry Review, 63(2):115-120; 6 ref.

Ivory MH, 1987. Diseases and disorders of pines in the tropics: a field and laboratory manual. Overseas Research Publication Series, Overseas Development Administration, UK, No. 31:92 pp.

Jamaluddin; Dadwal VS; Soni KK, 1982. Studies on charcoal root rot of Pinus caribpa. Indian Forester, 108(9):618-622

Jamaluddin; Dadwal VS; Soni KK, 1984. An observation on the incidence of charcoal root-rot disease of Pinus caribpa plantations of Bastar (M.P.). Indian Forester, 110(6):552-557

Kadeba O; Aduayi EA, 1983. Biomass production in Pinus caribaea of different ages in the savanna zone of Nigeria. IUFRO Symposium on Forest Site and Continuous Productivity, December 1983: 53-57.

Khiari SK; Iddi S, 1991. Basic density of wood of Pinus caribaea grown in Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania. Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 4(2):113-118.

Lamb AFA, 1973. Fast growing timber trees of the lowland tropics. No. 6. Pinus caribaea, vol. 1. University of Oxford, Department of Forestry, Commonwealth Forestry Institute. xviii + 254 pp. + appendix; 40 pp. of refs.

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Maghembe JA, 1979. Effect of weeding and some soil characteristics on the survival and growth of Pinus caribpa in plantations at Ruvu. Record, Division of Forestry, University of Dar es Salaam, No. 8:12

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Flora of the West Indieshttp://botany.si.edu/antilles/WestIndies/
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF WAC)http://www.worldagroforestry.org/

Contributors

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04/04/13 Updated by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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