Polylepis australis, also known locally as Tabaquillo or Queñoa is a tree endemic of central Argentina, member of the family Rosaceae. The genus Polylepis originated in the eastern South America, Andean forests . The plant has small, pinnate leaves, 7–10 cm long, normally composed of five or seven leaflets. In harsh winters, Polylepis australis survives by producing rolls of loose, papery like exfoliating brownish bark; the rough outer covering of the woody stem of tree. The southernmost stands of Polylepis australis are located in the high Córdoba mountains of central Argentina (1,200–2,884 m above sea level).
South American Polylepis mountain forests are recognised as being one of the most endangered forest ecosystems in the world. During a reforestation project, D. Renison (University of Córdoba, Argentina) found that the germination of Polylepis australis stands decreases significantly with decreasing tree coverage. The first results of additional studies carried out in collaboration with Isabell Hensen (University of Halle, Germany) indicate that a clear negative correlation exists between the viability of seeds of Polylepis australis and the degree of human influence on the woodland stands. Seeds of Polylepis australis exhibited a great variation in terms of mass and percent seed germination among individual trees and among geographical regions.
- Daniel Renison; Ana M. Cingolani; Ricardo Suarez; Eugenia Menoyo; Carla Coutsiers; Ana Sobral; Isabell Hensen (2005). "The Restoration of Degraded Mountain Woodlands: Effects of Seed Provenance and Microsite Characteristics on Polylepis australis Seedling Survival and Growth in Central Argentina". Restoration Ecology.
- D. Renison & A. M. Cingolani (1998). "Experiencias en germinación y reproducción vegetativa aplicados a la reforestación con Polylepis australis (Rosaceae) en las Sierras Grandes de Córdoba, Argentina". AgriScientia. 15: 47–53.
- Peggy Seltmann; Ilona Leyer; Daniel Renison; Isabell Hensen (2007). "Variation of seed mass and its effects on germination in Polylepis australis: implications for seed collection". New Forests Journal. 33 (2).