Caribbean pine

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Caribbean pine
Pinus caribaea
Pinus caribaea Morelet 1851 2013 001.jpg
Pinus caribaea specimen in El Hatillo, Miranda, Venezuela
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Pinus
Subgenus: P. subg. Pinus
Section: P. sect. Trifoliae
Subsection: P. subsect. Australes
P. caribaea
Binomial name
Pinus caribaea

Pinus hondurensis Sénéclauze

The Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea) is a hard pine species native to Central America, Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It belongs to subsection Australes in subgenus Pinus. It inhabits tropical and subtropical coniferous forests such as Bahamian pineyards, in both lowland savannas and montane forests.


As of 2013, the species has three accepted varieties:[2]


It has been proposed that the pines of Australes subsection (of which Caribbean pine is part) arrived to the Caribbean basin from Southeastern USA.[3] Regarding the population on the Bahamas, it has been proposed that this species emigrated into the region from Florida four or five thousand years ago, long after the end of the Ice Age, as the climate became wetter. Based on fossil species assemblages it is believed that the environment on the Bahamas was much less forested and a dry savannah during the glacial maxim some 18,000 years ago when the sea level was some 120m lower than it is today.[4][5]

Paleoclimatic[6] and genetic data[7] have been used to propose that Pinus caribaea ultimately originated in Central America. According to chloroplast genetic data, Pinus caribaea lineages colonized the Caribbean islands from populations in Central America at least twice (one leading to Cuban populations and another leading to the populations on the Bahamas).[7]


Periodic wildfires play a major role in the distribution of this species; this tree regenerates quickly and aggressively, replacing broadleaf trees after fires. In zones not subject to periodic fires, the succession continues and the pine forest is replaced by tropical broadleaf forest. The young pines require extensive amounts of sunlight to grow, and are resistant to fire once they become adults.[8][9]


Lumber and pulpwood from this tree shipped to Florida is the main export of the Abaco Islands.[10]


According to the IUCN, this species as a whole is considered of least concern,[11][12] but two of the three varieties are considered endangered (var. caribaea)[13] or vulnerable (var. bahamensis).[14]


  1. ^ Farjon, A. 2013. Pinus caribaea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42348A2974430. Downloaded on 10 June 2021.
  2. ^ "The Plant List: Pinus caribaea". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2013.
  3. ^ Adams, D.C., Jackson, J.F. (1997). A phylogenetic analysis of the southern pines (Pinus subsect. Australes Loudon): biogeographical and ecological implications. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 110: 681–692.
  4. ^ Olson, Storrs L.; Pregill, Gregory K. (1982). "Fossil Vertebrates from the Bahamas — Introduction to the Paleontology of Bahaman Vertebrates" (PDF). Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology. 48: 1–7. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  5. ^ Pregill, Gregory K. (1982). "Fossil Vertebrates from the Bahamas — Fossil Amphibians and Reptiles from New Providence Island, Bahamas" (PDF). Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology. 48: 19–20. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  6. ^ Dvorak, W. S., Hamrick, J. L. &Gutierrez E. A. (2005). The origin of Caribbean pine in the seasonal swamps of the Yucatán. International Journal of Plant Sciences 166: 985-994.
  7. ^ a b Jardón-Barbolla, L., Delgado-Valerio, P., Geada-López, G., Vázquez-Lobo, A., & Pinero D. (2011). Phylogeography of Pinus subsection Australes in the Caribbean Basin. Annals of Botany 107: 229-241.
  8. ^ Vázquez-Yanes, C.; A. I. Batis Muñoz; M. I. Alcocer Silva; M. Gual Díaz & C. Sánchez Dirzo (1999). "Árboles y arbustos potencialmente valiosos para la restauración ecológica y la reforestación" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 2002. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. ^ "Ecosystems Of The Bahamas". The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
  10. ^ Bower, Paul (1997). "Abaco Islands". In Johnston, Bernard (ed.). Collier's Encyclopedia. I A to Ameland (First ed.). New York, NY: P.F. Collier. p. 4.
  11. ^ "Pinus caribaea (Caribbean Pine, Nicaragua Pine, Pitch Pine)". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  12. ^ "Pinus caribaea (pino macho) description - The Gymnosperm Database". Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  13. ^ "Pinus caribaea var. caribaea (Caribbean Pine, Nicaragua Pine, Pitch Pine)". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  14. ^ "Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis (Bahamas Pine, Caicos Pine , Caribbean Pine)". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2018-08-23.