Sumatran tropical pine forests
Location and description
These pine forests are found on the higher slopes of Sumatra, especially in the north of the island near Lake Toba and along the Barisan Mountains including the tall Mount Leuser. With 2500mm of rainfall per year the pine forests have a tropical rainforest climate but are drier than the thick rainforest areas lower down the slopes, especially on the drier eastern aspects of the mountains.
This ecoregion is one of the rare areas of pine forest in the tropics with the dominant species Sumatran pine (Pinus merkusii), which has become established in areas where rainforest has been disturbed throughout history by events including landslides and forest fires as well as human clearance. Forest fire is an ongoing and continuous feature of the life-cycle of the forest.
There is less wildlife here than in the rainforest that covers most of the island and there are no endemic mammals but there are still a number of near-endemic species including birds like the Sunda robin.
Threats and preservation
The pine forests of the higher areas are less vulnerable to clearance than the valuable hardwood rainforests lower down and furthermore a third of them are within the Kerinci Seblat and other national parks.
- "Sumatran tropical pine forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
Wikramanayake, Eric; Eric Dinerstein; Colby Loucks; et al. (2002). Terrestrial Ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific: a Conservation Assessment. Island Press; Washington, DC.