Pinus halepensis (Aleppo pine)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Rainfall Regime
- Soil Tolerances
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Impact Summary
- Environmental Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Wood Products
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Pinus halepensis Mill.
Preferred Common Name
- Aleppo pine
- 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
- PIUHA (Pinus halepensis)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Gymnospermae
- Class: Pinopsida
- Family: Pinaceae
- Genus: Pinus
- Species: Pinus halepensis
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
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).
DescriptionTop of page
Plant TypeTop of page
DistributionTop of page
Distribution TableTop of page
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.Last updated: 25 Feb 2021
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Planted||Reference||Notes|
|South Africa||Present||Introduced||First reported: pre-1830|
|India||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Federal Republic of Yugoslavia||Present||Native|
|United States||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-New South Wales||Present||Introduced||Planted|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
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 IntroductionTop of page
HabitatTop of page
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial||Managed||Managed grasslands (grazing systems)||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Natural forests||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Eucalyptus marginata (jarrah)||Myrtaceae||Unknown|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
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.
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).
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).
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 RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Absolute minimum temperature (ºC)||-12|
|Mean annual temperature (ºC)||15||17|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||0||3||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||150||900||mm; lower/upper limits|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page
Soil TolerancesTop of page
Special soil tolerances
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
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).
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 DispersalTop of page
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
Environmental ImpactTop of page
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page
- 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
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Pest and disease transmission
- Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
UsesTop of page
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 ListTop of page
- Boundary, barrier or support
- Erosion control or dune stabilization
- Shade and shelter
- Soil improvement
Human food and beverage
- Spices and culinary herbs
- Miscellaneous materials
Wood ProductsTop of page
- Pit props
Sawn or hewn building timbers
- Carpentry/joinery (exterior/interior)
- For light construction
- Wall panelling
Prevention and ControlTop of page
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.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).
ReferencesTop of page
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