Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Pinus halepensis
(Aleppo pine)

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Datasheet

Pinus halepensis (Aleppo pine)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 27 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Pinus halepensis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Aleppo pine
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Gymnospermae
  •         Class: Pinopsida
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • P. halepensis is a very drought resistant tree and a prolific producer of serotinous, wind-dispersed seeds that retain their viability over long time periods. Disturbance events associated with fire have promoted the expansion of this species in coun...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
P. halepensis dominated vegetation in Montpellier, France.
TitleTree
CaptionP. halepensis dominated vegetation in Montpellier, France.
CopyrightD.M. Richardson
P. halepensis dominated vegetation in Montpellier, France.
TreeP. halepensis dominated vegetation in Montpellier, France.D.M. Richardson
Canopy structure, leaves and cones of P. halepensis (Montpellier, France). Needles are pale green (usually 6-12 cm long and <1 mm wide), and are borne on silvery-grey branches, usually abscising after the second year.
TitleCanopy structure
CaptionCanopy structure, leaves and cones of P. halepensis (Montpellier, France). Needles are pale green (usually 6-12 cm long and <1 mm wide), and are borne on silvery-grey branches, usually abscising after the second year.
CopyrightD.M. Richardson
Canopy structure, leaves and cones of P. halepensis (Montpellier, France). Needles are pale green (usually 6-12 cm long and <1 mm wide), and are borne on silvery-grey branches, usually abscising after the second year.
Canopy structureCanopy structure, leaves and cones of P. halepensis (Montpellier, France). Needles are pale green (usually 6-12 cm long and <1 mm wide), and are borne on silvery-grey branches, usually abscising after the second year.D.M. Richardson
Seedlings of Pinus halepensis.  Community Nursery, Uppington, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.
TitleSeedlings
CaptionSeedlings of Pinus halepensis. Community Nursery, Uppington, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.
CopyrightD.M. Richardson
Seedlings of Pinus halepensis.  Community Nursery, Uppington, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.
SeedlingsSeedlings of Pinus halepensis. Community Nursery, Uppington, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.D.M. Richardson
Seedlings of P. halepensis.  Community Nursery, Uppington, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.
TitleSeedlings
CaptionSeedlings of P. halepensis. Community Nursery, Uppington, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.
CopyrightD.M. Richardson
Seedlings of P. halepensis.  Community Nursery, Uppington, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.
SeedlingsSeedlings of P. halepensis. Community Nursery, Uppington, Northern Cape Province, South Africa.D.M. Richardson
Bark and trunk of Aleppo pine, planted as an ornamental tree  (University of California, Los Angeles, USA). The bark is greyish and smooth initially, but finally fissured and exposing the reddish-brown or orange inner bark.
TitleBark
CaptionBark and trunk of Aleppo pine, planted as an ornamental tree (University of California, Los Angeles, USA). The bark is greyish and smooth initially, but finally fissured and exposing the reddish-brown or orange inner bark.
CopyrightD.M. Richardson
Bark and trunk of Aleppo pine, planted as an ornamental tree  (University of California, Los Angeles, USA). The bark is greyish and smooth initially, but finally fissured and exposing the reddish-brown or orange inner bark.
BarkBark and trunk of Aleppo pine, planted as an ornamental tree (University of California, Los Angeles, USA). The bark is greyish and smooth initially, but finally fissured and exposing the reddish-brown or orange inner bark.D.M. Richardson
Cones of Aleppo pine, partially open and closed (5-12 cm long).  Kango Valley, Western Cape Province, South Africa.
TitleCones
CaptionCones of Aleppo pine, partially open and closed (5-12 cm long). Kango Valley, Western Cape Province, South Africa.
CopyrightD.M. Richardson
Cones of Aleppo pine, partially open and closed (5-12 cm long).  Kango Valley, Western Cape Province, South Africa.
ConesCones of Aleppo pine, partially open and closed (5-12 cm long). Kango Valley, Western Cape Province, South Africa.D.M. Richardson
Open cone of P. halepensis, growing near Montpelier, France. Cones are moderately to highly serotinous, conical (5-12 cm long), turned downwards, grey to reddish-brown, usually opening after 3-4 years.
TitleOpen cone
CaptionOpen cone of P. halepensis, growing near Montpelier, France. Cones are moderately to highly serotinous, conical (5-12 cm long), turned downwards, grey to reddish-brown, usually opening after 3-4 years.
CopyrightD.M. Richardson
Open cone of P. halepensis, growing near Montpelier, France. Cones are moderately to highly serotinous, conical (5-12 cm long), turned downwards, grey to reddish-brown, usually opening after 3-4 years.
Open coneOpen cone of P. halepensis, growing near Montpelier, France. Cones are moderately to highly serotinous, conical (5-12 cm long), turned downwards, grey to reddish-brown, usually opening after 3-4 years.D.M. Richardson
Aleppo pine-dominated vegetation, near Montpelier, France.
TitleVegetation dominated by P. halepensis
CaptionAleppo pine-dominated vegetation, near Montpelier, France.
CopyrightD.M. Richardson
Aleppo pine-dominated vegetation, near Montpelier, France.
Vegetation dominated by P. halepensisAleppo pine-dominated vegetation, near Montpelier, France.D.M. Richardson
P. halepensis invading renosterveld on shale-derived soils in the Kango Valley, in the far eastern part of the Western Cape Province, South Africa.  P. halepensis has spread from sites of planting in many parts of the southern hemisphere, and in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Aleppo pine is a serious environmental weed.
TitleInvasive growth
CaptionP. halepensis invading renosterveld on shale-derived soils in the Kango Valley, in the far eastern part of the Western Cape Province, South Africa. P. halepensis has spread from sites of planting in many parts of the southern hemisphere, and in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Aleppo pine is a serious environmental weed.
CopyrightD.M. Richardson
P. halepensis invading renosterveld on shale-derived soils in the Kango Valley, in the far eastern part of the Western Cape Province, South Africa.  P. halepensis has spread from sites of planting in many parts of the southern hemisphere, and in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Aleppo pine is a serious environmental weed.
Invasive growthP. halepensis invading renosterveld on shale-derived soils in the Kango Valley, in the far eastern part of the Western Cape Province, South Africa. P. halepensis has spread from sites of planting in many parts of the southern hemisphere, and in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Aleppo pine is a serious environmental weed.D.M. Richardson

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Pinus halepensis Mill.

Preferred Common Name

  • Aleppo pine

Variety

  • Pinus halepensis var. eldarica

Other Scientific Names

  • Pinus abasica hort. ex Carriere
  • Pinus arabica Sieber ex Spreng.
  • Pinus persica Strangw.

International Common Names

  • English: Jerusalem pine
  • Spanish: Alepo pinua; pi blanc; pi bord; pino blanquillo; pino carrasco; pino de Alepo
  • French: pin blanc; pin d'Alep
  • Portuguese: pinheiro francos; pinheiro-de-alepo

Local Common Names

  • Croatia: alepski bor; alepskim borom; alepskog bora; bili bor
  • Germany: Aleppokiefer; Seekiefer
  • Greece: halepios pefki; pefko
  • Israel: oren Jerushalaim
  • Italy: pino d'Aleppo
  • Netherlands: Aleppo pijn
  • Poland: alepskiej
  • Serbia: alepski bor; alepskim borom; alepskog bora; bili bor
  • Turkey: halepcami

EPPO code

  • PIUHA (Pinus halepensis)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page P. halepensis is a very drought resistant tree and a prolific producer of serotinous, wind-dispersed seeds that retain their viability over long time periods. Disturbance events associated with fire have promoted the expansion of this species in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In the latter it causes a number of environmental and biodiversity problems, declared a category 2 invader according to the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 1983 (Henderson, 2001). Binggeli (1999) classed P. halepensis as moderately invasive, and Rejmánek (1995) ranked it among the five most invasive pines.

Taxonomic Tree

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

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page P. halepensis (2n = 24) and P. brutia together form the subsection Halepenses in the section Pinus, subgenus Pinus (diploxylon or hard pines) of Pinus in the family Pinaceae.

P. brutia was previously considered a subspecies or variety of P. halepensis by some authors, for example, by Gaussen et al. (1993) in their revision of Pinus in Europe. However, P. brutia is now almost universally accepted as a separate species (Price et al., 1998).

Description

Top of page A two- (occasionally three-) needled, monoecious pine species, usually forming a slender single-stemmed tree up to 20 m tall, occasionally reaching 25 m tall, with deep roots. Bark is greyish, smooth at first, but finally fissured and exposing the reddish-brown or orange inner bark. Needles are pale green, usually 6-12 cm long, sometimes up to 15 cm, and less than 1 mm wide, borne on silvery-grey branches, usually abscising after the second year. Resin ducts are marginal with a leaf sheath 8 mm long. Cones are moderately to highly serotinous, conical, 5-12 cm long, turned downwards, grey to reddish-brown, usually opening in the third year. Apophysis on scales flat or raised, with conspicuous umbo, without mucro. Seeds dark brown, mottled, 6-7 mm long; wing 18-28 mm long.

Plant Type

Top of page Perennial
Seed propagated
Tree
Woody

Distribution

Top of page Like most other Mediterranean pines, P. halepensis has been widely planted and its range otherwise manipulated by humans for many centuries, making it difficult or impossible to define precisely the true native range. Forests dominated by P. halepensis comprise about 10% of the shrubland/forest complex in the Mediterranean basin (Houérou, 1974). In conjunction with P. brutia, these two pines cover about 6.8 million ha in this region (Barbéro et al., 1998). There has been considerable debate in the literature on whether P. halepensis is native to Israel or whether occurrence there is entirely anthropogenic; with current consensus being that it has been a component of the vegetation in Israel throughout the Pleistocene, but that it was never a dominant species (Weinstein-Evron and Lev-Yadun, 1999).

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

AzerbaijanPresentIntroduced Planted
GazaPresentNativePlanted, Natural
Georgia (Republic of)PresentIntroduced Planted
IndiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-HaryanaPresentIntroduced Planted
-Uttar PradeshPresentIntroduced Planted
IraqPresentIntroduced Planted
IsraelPresentNativeSchiller, 1972; Golan et al., 1983; Madar et al., 1996
JordanPresentNativePlanted, Natural
LebanonPresentNative Natural
PakistanPresentIntroduced Planted
TurkeyPresentIntroduced Planted Ugenc, 1972

Africa

AlgeriaPresentNativePlanted, Natural
KenyaPresentIntroduced Planted
LesothoPresentIntroduced Planted
LibyaPresentNative Natural
MoroccoPresentNativePlanted, NaturalMorelet, 1972
South AfricaPresentIntroducedpre-1830Henderson, 2001; Nyoka, 2002
TanzaniaPresentIntroduced Planted
TunisiaPresentNativePlanted, Natural
ZimbabwePresentIntroduced Planted

North America

USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-ArizonaPresentIntroduced Planted
-CaliforniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Knapp, 2002; USDA-NRCS, 2004
-New MexicoPresentIntroduced Planted

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroduced Invasive Mallea et al., 1988; Zalba, 1995
ChilePresentIntroduced Planted
PeruPresentIntroduced Planted

Europe

AlbaniaPresentNative Natural
CroatiaPresentTomasevic, 1994
CyprusPresentIntroduced Planted
FrancePresentNativeMorelet, 1972; Acherar et al., 1984
-CorsicaPresentNative Natural
GreecePresentNativePlanted, Natural
ItalyPresentNativeLuisi, 1983; Schiller and Brunori, 1992
MaltaPresentNative Natural
MontenegroPresentNativeKaradzic and Vujanovic, 1992
SpainPresentNativePlanted, NaturalDiaz et al., 1996
Yugoslavia (former)PresentNativeKaradzic and Vujanovic, 1992; Tomasevic, 1994

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive Anon, 1998; Weber, 2003
-New South WalesPresentIntroduced Planted
-South AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive Planted Anon, 1998
New ZealandPresentIntroduced Planted

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page It is difficult to separate natural from adventive distribution in many parts of its range and in the western part of the Mediterranean basin, P. halepensis has a large distribution assumed to be naturalized. For example, the area covered by P. halepensis in the Languedoc region of southern France increased three-fold between 1878 and 1904, and an additional 2.6 times between 1908 and 1978 as the species invaded abandoned lands (Acherar et al., 1984; Lepart and Debussche, 1992). This trend is evident in many other parts of its range, especially where large areas of agricultural land have been abandoned following the imposition of set-aside policies in the European Union (Barbéro et al., 1998).

As P. halepensis is not a species of major commercial importance, no comprehensive data are available on the global extent of plantings for this species, although there are more details concerning Southern Africa and Australia. Where P. halepensis is planted outside its natural range it can exhibit weedy characteristics and in some areas it has become an important weed, and Richardson and Higgins (1998) review the phenomenon of pines as plant invaders in the southern hemisphere. In other areas, P. halepensis has failed to establish, for example, in the Pescadore Islands in the Taiwan Straits (Kao, 1983). It is also notable that P. halepensis is not widely naturalized or a weed problem in California, USA, despite widespread plantings throughout coastal regions of the state where it grows vigorously without irrigation in areas that receive 400-500 mm of rain per year (DM Richardson, University of Cape Town, South Africa, personal communication, 1999). However, one area of California where it is reported invasive is Catalina Island (Knapp, 2004).

P. halepensis has been planted in all countries of southern Africa, where it was first introduced in the mid 1800s. Plantings and trials have been most extensive in South Africa, but the species is also grown in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe (Poynton, 1979). P. halepensis is presumed to have been introduced in South Africa before 1830 (Shaughnessy, 1986). The first record of prolific natural regeneration and presumed spread of P. halepensis in the southern hemisphere is from the Caledon district of South Africa in 1855, some 25 years after it arrived in the country. Invasion of fynbos vegetation in South Africa often occurs after a fire (Trabaud, 1991).

P. halepensis arrived in Australia in about 1850, and the main phase of planting, mainly in South Australia, was just before 1900. It has been planted fairly widely in the southern part of the continent, mainly in predominantly winter rainfall areas that receiving 450-750 mm per year. In South and Western Australia, it has invaded disturbed eucalypt forest, especially around Adelaide and on the Eyre Peninsula. P. halepensis appears on the noxious weed list for Australian states and territories, its use being controlled in parts of South Australia, and it is presently unassigned prior to assessment in Western Australia (Anon., 1998). In New Zealand, most invaded sites are extensively managed grasslands, but various semi-natural vegetation types are also invaded. In a study of fifteen alien forestry species in Argentina, Zalba (1995) found that P. halepensis showed the greatest expansion.

Risk of Introduction

Top of page P. halepensis has shown recent expansion within its naturalized range in France and in several countries with Mediterranean climates where it has been introduced, such as South Africa, Argentina and Australia. Introduced to countries with climatic and environmental similarities to those locations that have recorded problems should be considered with care. However, in many countries P. halepensis is already widely introduced and it would therefore be prudent to monitor such locations for early signs of invasive behaviour.

Habitat

Top of page Within the native range, P. halepensis is an early successional species that colonizes bare and/or disturbed ground, such as following cultivation (Lepart and Debussche, 1991). In Australia, it has invaded disturbed mallee (native eucalypt forest) at many localities in South Australia, especially around Adelaide and on the Eyre Peninsula. In Western Australia, it has spread into clear felled Eucalyptus marginata forest and disturbed ground. In New Zealand, most invaded sites are extensively managed grasslands, but various semi-natural vegetation types are also invaded. P. halepensis is a widespread invader of both fynbos and renosterveld vegetation types in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa: (e.g. Rouget et al., 2001).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Eucalyptus marginata (jarrah)MyrtaceaeUnknown

Biology and Ecology

Top of page Genetics

P. halepensis is a diploid species with a chrosome number of 2n=24. Genetic variation in P. halepensis is considerable, and can be clearly observed in morphological features, such as trunk straightness, branch thickness and cone shape. Giordano (1960) studied provenances in Italy; differences exist between provenances from Israel, Morocco, Greece and Italy whilst Karschon (1961) established two altitudinal ecotypes in Israel. Morphological and biochemical studies of intraspecific genetic variation within the species have confirmed the existence of two main groups within the natural range of P. halepensis: East Mediterranean and West Mediterranean. The latter is subdivided into four subgroups: Eastern European subgroup (mainly in the Balkan peninsula); West European subgroup (Italy, France and Spain); West North-African subgroup (Morocco and West Algeria) and East North-African subgroup (East Algeria and Tunisia) (Schiller et al., 1986; Schiller and Grunwald, 1987). Different provenances of P. halepensis also display different levels of resistance to pests, and most of the devastating outbreaks of insect pests in Mediterranean Basin pine forests have occurred in planted, rather than natural, pine stands, where inappropriate provenances have been planted, for example, in Morocco (Questienne, 1979). Different provenances of P. halepensis also display different levels of resistance to frost and low water potentials (Schiller and Brunori, 1992) and the importance of careful site-provenance matching is now generally accepted.

Physiology and Phenology

It is a not a very long-lived pine, living for up to 150-200 years, though Lepart and Debussche (1991) report that P. halepensis lives until approximately the age of 100 years, but can bear cones at six years and produce viable seed from age 12.

Reproductive Biology

P. halepensis reaches reproductive maturity at a relatively young age enabling it to cope with sites prone to fire. P. halepensis produces seed prolifically (Weber, 2003) and the time interval between seeding events is approximately two years (Moran et al., 2000). According to Moran et al. (2000) the seeds are stored in the canopy and are strongly serotinous. Seeds are able to germinate and establish in the immediate post-fire environment and it would appear that disturbance through fire promotes seedling establishment and invasion (Rouget et al., 2001). There is usually prolific seedling recruitment after fires, leading to dense, even-aged stands. However, seed release is not wholly dependent on fire as dry, hot conditions may also stimulate seed release, as occurs in Israel (Nathan et al., 2000). Lepart and Debussche (1991) note that P. halepensis is not able to recruit seedlings under its own canopy and in natural successions, tends to be replaced by other species such as the oaks Quercus ilex and Q. pubescens. Seeds remain viable for up to ten years (Dean et al., 1986).

Environmental Requirements

P. halepensis is one of the most drought-tolerant of all pines and Rouget et al. (2001) consider that this may have contributed to its widespread invasion of semi-arid shrubland in South Africa. It also survives nutrient-poor soils, frost (provenance-specific) and salt spray, but is unable to withstand waterlogging. In warm, humid conditions, P. halepensis is susceptible to damage from hail storms and subsequent infection by Diploidia pinea. In parts of its adventive range, crowns of P. halepensis can be broken by heavy snowfalls.

The distribution of P. halepensis in the Mediterranean basin follows the 1.5°C isotherm of mean minimum temperature for the coldest months of the year (Trabaud et al., 1985), with annual precipitation in the 300-900 mm range (Houérou, 1974). In the North African part of its range, Le Houérou (1981) argued that P. halepensis forests extended to the 200-150 mm isohyet at approximately 2500 BC, but that extensive deforestation in the 1800s resulted in the shrinkage of its range to areas with at least 300 mm annual rainfall. It grows from sea level to 1700 m (only in Morocco). Summer temperatures averaging 20-25°C accompanied by 3-month drought are typical in its current natural range. P. halepensis is generally considered to be very frost tolerant, surviving winter temperatures as low as -12°C (Calamassi et al., 1999), but this is dependent on microclimatic conditions.

At drier sites within and at the edge of this range, Quercus suber often assumes dominance (Summers, 1939), whereas other pine species (P. pinaster, P. pinea, P. nigra) replace P. halepensis in more humid areas at high elevations. The climatic conditions in the range of P. halepensis are conducive to widespread wildfires; indeed the P. halepensis zone is one of the most flammable of all areas in the Mediterranean Basin. Although P. halepensis is best suited to Mediterranean areas with predominantly winter rainfall, it also grows well when planted outside its natural range in uniform- and summer-rainfall regions.

In its natural range in the Mediterranean basin, P. halepensis generally grows on marls, limestone and dolomites, avoiding wet soils and compacted clay soils. In Israel, it grows on luvisols, tolerating terra rossa soils, but preferring brown and pale rendzinas. In South Africa, P. halepensis has proved very accommodating with respect to soils, but it grows best in the presence of lime. It grows well on clay-loams overlying dolerite or shale and, on the highveld, it succeeds on acid, sandy and skeletal soils derived from sandstones. In Australia, it also grows on a wide range of soils, from moderately heavy clays to rather poor sandy podsols, but it does best on sandy loams. For amenity plantings it is generally suitable for most soil types, except for tight clays. Plantations of P. halepensis in southeast Croatia appear to stop the degradation of the limestone soils (karsting) and to improve basic soil properties, resulting in improved regeneration of native trees and shrubs (Tomasevic, 1994) and similar results have been obtained in Bulgaria (Tilev, 1977). In some locations P. halepensis can experience deficiencies in phosphate (Doumas et al., 1983, 1984) and/or potassium (Mandouri, 1981; Doumas et al., 1986).

Associations

P. halepensis is often a dominant component of coniferous forests at lower altitudes in the Mediterranean basin and also occurs in maquis, various other scrub communities and on planted coastal dunes. It typically occurs above a layer of shrubs, such as Arbutus unedo, Erica arborea and Myrtus communis or Cistus species. In Australia, P. halepensis has invaded disturbed native eucalypt forest in South Australia and Eucalyptus marginata forest in Western Australia. Aleppo pine is a widespread invader of two types of vegetation in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa: fynbos and renosterveld.

The most common mycorrhizal fungi found to be associated with P. halepensis in different parts of its range are: Suillus, Rhizopogon and Cenococcum geophilum (Iberia, Spain; Diaz et al., 1996); Amanita spissa, Hebeloma edurum, Lactarius deliciosus, Pisolithus tinctorius, Suillus luteus and S. variegatus (Spain; Torres and Honrubia, 1994); Pisolithus tinctorius, Rhizopogon roseolus, and Suillus collinitus (south-east Spain; Roldan and Albaladejo, 1994); Suillus collinitus, S. granulatus, Rhizopogon roseolus, R. luteolus, Amanita muscaria and Lactarius deliciosus (Spain; Torres and Honrubia, 1991); Tuber melanosporum, T. brumale var. moschatum, T. aestivum, T. albidum and T. maculatum (Italy; Pirazzi and Gregorio, 1987).

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
45 31 0 1500

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -12
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 15 17

Rainfall

Top of page
ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration03number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall150900mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid

Soil texture

  • light

Special soil tolerances

  • shallow

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Among the fungal diseases known to affect P. halepensis, the following are probably the most widespread and damaging: Coleosporium inulae, a heteroecious foliar rust, can seriously damage P. halepensis in young plantations (Magnani, 1974); Cronartium flaccidum (blister rust) (Raddi and Fagnani, 1978; Moriondo et al., 1980; Luisi, 1983; Karadzic and Vujanovic, 1992); Crumenulopsis sororia, a canker, particularly following abnormally high rainfall years (Morelet, 1971, 1978); Gibberella fujikuroi var. subglutinans (conidial state = Fusarium subglutinans) or pitch canker (McCain et al., 1987); Phellinus pini (red ring rot) (Sisto and Luis, 1991; Karadzic and Vujanovic, 1992; Arbouche et al., 1993); Phellinus torulosus (white decay fungus) (Perlini, 1997); Sclerotium bataticola Taub. (Macrophomina phaseolina) (Madar and Reuveni, 1981); Sirococcus strobilinus (S. conigenus) causes bud death (Morelet, 1972; Munoz López, 1997); Sphaeropsis sapinea (Diplodia pinea) or Sphaeropsis canker/crown wilt (Torres-Juan, 1971; Schiller, 1972; Capretti et al., 1987; Karadzic and Vujanovic, 1992; Diminic et al., 1993; Stiki et al., 1995; Diminic, 1994, 1996; Madar et al., 1996); Thyriopsis halepensis (Glavas, 1983).

Among the insect pests of P. halepensis, the following (listed in alphabetical order) are probably the most widespread and/or damaging: Leucaspis pusilla (Homoptera Diaspididae) (Tuscany, Italy; damages trees already weakened by abiotic or biotic factors; Raspi and Antonelli, 1987). Another species, L. pini, has caused damage to P. halepensis in Argentina (Mallea et al., 1988). Matsucoccus josephi (Homoptera: Margarodidae) (Israeli pine bast scale); the most serious pest of P. halepensis in Israel (Golan et al., 1983). Damage caused by this introduced insect has dramatically reduced the use of P. halepensis in plantations in Israel resulting in the replacement of P. halepensis with P. brutia and P. pinea in many areas (O Boneh, Forestry Department KKL, Jewish National Fund, Zefat, Israel, personal communication, 1999); Monochamus galloprovincialis (Cerambycid) (Georgebits, 1974); Orthotomicus erosus (Halperin et al., 1982; Mendel and Halperin, 1982; Georgebits, 1974); Pityogenes calcaratus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) (Halperin et al., 1982; Georgebits, 1974); Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Thaumetopoeidae; pine processionary caterpillar) (Tsankov et al., 1995; Papitto, 1995); Hylurgus destruens (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) is one of the most destructive pests of pine forests in the Mediterranean region (Monleon et al., 1996); Secondary pests include borers (Pissodes castaneus, Tomicus piniperda, Orthotomicus erosus and Monochamus galloprovincialis) that usually cause problems only after trees have been weakened by environmental stresses (for example, prolonged drought followed by very cold temperatures; Capretti et al., 1987). The mite Cenopalpus wainsteini is an important pest in north-western Apulia, Italy, where adverse growing conditions of the trees on dry stony ground can permit insufficient retention of water in the soil when the temperature was most favourable for growth (Macchia et al., 1983).

In Israel, porcupines (Hystrix indica) cause patchy but sometimes heavy damage to Aleppo pine, especially in rocky sites with low vegetation cover (Izhaki and Ne'eman, 1996).

Current ambient levels of ozone over much of the natural range of Aleppo pine exceed UN-ECE critical level guidelines for the protection of forest trees and this pine is sensitive to ozone (Elvira et al., 1998). Typical ozone injury symptoms of chlorotic mottle and damage to plicate mesophyll cells may lead to the death of young seedlings (Naveh et al., 1980). Ozone exposure (by inducing an increase in diffusive resistance; Anttonen et al., 1998) and moderate water shortage induce similar reductions in gas exchange rates. An antagonistic response modulated by the severity of water stress followed combined exposure to both ozone and water stress (Inclam et al., 1998). In combination, ozone and mild drought decrease the carbon-fixation capacity of P. halepensis, reducing the amount of carbon transferred to the roots, leading to reduced root growth. Thus, high levels of ozone during the summer months may impair the ability of P. halepensis to withstand severe water stress in its natural environment (Gerant et al., 1996).

Declines/Complex disorders

In many areas of the current range of Aleppo pine in the Mediterranean Basin, large-scale dieback in stands has been attributed to complex interactions between various factors, and is often the result of planting an inappropriate provenance (Capretti et al., 1987). In Israel, ozone damage predisposes Aleppo pine to attack by M. josephi. The combined effect is progressive desiccation from the lower branches and finally death of the tree; this together with the increase of dry matter from bush encroachment increases the intensity of wildfires (Z. Naveh, Faculty of Agriculture Engineering, Technicon, Haifa, Israel, personal communication, 1999).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page The seeds of P. halepensis are winged and are wind-dispersed (Lepart and Debussche, 1991). Occasionally seeds may be carried several kilometers from the source but generally the dispersal distance is up to 20 m (Nathan et al., 2000). There is no evidence of biotic seed dispersal (Nathan et al., 2000). Long-distant dispersal is due to P. halepensis having been introduced intentionally to many countries and continents outside its native range.

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) Negative
Crop production None
Environment (generally) Negative
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production None
Human health None
Livestock production None
Native fauna None
Native flora Negative
Rare/protected species Negative
Tourism None
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None

Environmental Impact

Top of page The development of monospecific stands of P. halepensis affects nutrient and water cycling and reduces the level of light reaching the understorey vegetation (Weber, 2003). P. halepensis drops large amounts of leaf litter, presenting a further obstacle to native vegetation which tends to be outcompeted, with a consequent loss of floral diversity (Weber, 2003).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Pest and disease transmission
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

Top of page P. halepensis is not a species of major commercial importance, but it is a very important species in its native range, where its main uses are in agroforestry, soil conservation, erosion control, revegetation and land reclamation, and also for Throughout its native and introduced ranges, it has considerable value as an amenity and ornamental tree. It is very widely planted for restoration of degraded sites, especially within its large natural range. Its tolerance of poor, degraded or stony soils makes it very suitable for this purpose. P. pinaster is also used, but P. halepensis is preferred for drier sites, especially on calcareous soils. In parts of the Mediterranean basin, P. halepensis is planted to improve water infiltration rates on hill slopes, for example, on marl limestones near Lorca, south-eastern Spain (de Wit and Brouwer, 1998). P. halepensis is widely grown for a variety of amenity purposes, as windbreaks, shelter belts and shade trees. In the semi-arid parts of South Africa, it is used in community forestry projects (especially in the North Cape Province) to restore degraded areas, and in many temperate regions, P. halepensis is grown as an ornamental tree.

It is not used for commercial forestry anywhere in the world, mainly because of its poor stem form and low-quality timber. P. halepensis yields a yellowish-brown, coarse-grained, resinous, moderately dense wood of poor quality which is sometimes used for rough constructional purposes, in low-grade joinery and boxes, as railway sleepers, telephone poles, mine props, also as a firewood and charcoal.

Formerly, P. halepensis was often tapped for resin, especially in Portugal and Spain, but this is now only performed in some parts of Greece. The bark has been used in tanning leather.

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Agroforestry
  • Boundary, barrier or support
  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Revegetation
  • Shade and shelter
  • Soil improvement
  • Windbreak

Fuels

  • Charcoal
  • Fuelwood

General

  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Spices and culinary herbs

Materials

  • Gum/resin
  • Miscellaneous materials
  • Wood/timber

Wood Products

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Charcoal

Railway sleepers

Roundwood

  • Pit props
  • Posts

Sawn or hewn building timbers

  • Carpentry/joinery (exterior/interior)
  • For light construction
  • Shingles
  • Wall panelling

Prevention and Control

Top of page Weber (2003) lists fire among the control approaches for P. halepensis but notes that this can lead to the release of large numbers of seeds. According to Lepart and Debussche (1991), P. halepensis can be eradicated if consecutive fire events occur within a twelve-year period. However, lack of disturbance also promotes the eventual reduction of P. halepensis as it is outcompeted by other species in such environments (Lepart and Debussche, 1991).

Mechanical control methods suitable for P. halepensis include the removal of seedlings and juveniles by pulling and for mature trees, felling or ringbarking (Weber, 2003). Trees do not resprout if they are cut (Lepart and Debussche, 1991) and it is not usually necessary to apply herbicides to the cut stumps of felled P. halepensis (Weber, 2003).

Moran et al. (2000) considered that a cone weevil currently being tested in South Africa for release as a biocontrol agent for P. pinaster might also act as an agent for P. halepensis, and the cecidomyid flies Caryphomyia pinicolana and Camistomyi pinicolana may also be potential agents. Research efforts focus on seed and cone feeding species for control of Pinus species in South Africa because of their importance to commercial stakeholders (Moran et al., 2000).

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