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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
A common shrub in Mediterranean sclerophyll scrubland (maquis, garrigue); also in dry woodland with Pinus spp., Carpinus betulus, Quercus ilex and other oaks, Quercus-Lentiscus scrub, as well as in montane and wetter forest with Cedrus libani, Pinus nigra, Juniperus foetidissima, and J. excelsa. The altitudinal range is 1-2,200 m a.s.l. It occurs on dry, stony slopes in thin soils over all kinds of rock from calcareous to siliceous and serpentine, but uncommonly on sand dunes; in pastures at higher altitudes it is usually a sign of overgrazing. It is largely restricted to regions with a Mediterranean climate, but in the Balkans and the Iberian Peninsula it may occur in more continental conditions. The subspecies badia and oxycedrus are tolerant of frost, unlike the subspecies macrocarpa and transtagana. The latter two are largely restricted to coastal dunes or old, vegetated beaches on sand, where they occur in open pine woods (Pinus halepensis, P. brutia, P. pinea) as well as in scrub (garrigue, maquis) or associated with coastal grasses.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Juniperus oxycedrus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Juniperus oxycedrus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Farjon, A.

Reviewer/s
Adams, R & Thomas, P.

Contributor/s

Justification
The species as a whole is assessed as Least Concern as it is so widespread and locally common in the Mediterranean area.
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Population

Population
Very widespread and often common to abundant.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
No overall threats have been identified for this species although coastal urban and tourist developments have had some impact on coastal subpopulations.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is present in many protected areas throughout its range.
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Wikipedia

Juniperus oxycedrus

Juniperus oxycedrus (Prickly Juniper, Prickly Cedar, Cade Juniper and Cade (from the French genévrier cade), Sharp Cedar) is a species of juniper, native across the Mediterranean region from Morocco and Portugal, north to southern France, east to westernmost Iran, and south to Lebanon and Israel, growing on a variety of rocky sites from sea level up to 1600 m altitude.[1][2] The specific epithet oxycedrus means "sharp cedar" and this species may have been the original cedar or cedrus of the ancient Greeks.[3]

Description[edit]

The 'Juniperus oxycedrus tree is very variable in shape, forming a spreading shrub 2–3 m tall to a small erect tree 10–15 m tall. It has needle-like leaves in whorls of three; the leaves are green, 5–20 mm long and 1–2 mm broad, with a double white stomatal band (split by a green midrib) on the inner surface. It is usually dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The seed cones are berry-like, green ripening in 18 months to orange-red with a variable pink waxy coating; they are spherical, 7–12 mm diameter, and have three or six fused scales in 1-2 whorls, three of the scales with a single seed. The seeds are dispersed when birds eat the cones, digesting the fleshy scales and passing the hard seeds in their droppings. The pollen cones are yellow, 2–3 mm long, and fall soon after shedding their pollen in late winter or early spring.[1][4][5]

As to be expected from the wide range, 'Juniperus oxycedrus is very variable. One recent study[4][6][7] splits it into three species, though other authorities[1] do not accept this:

  • Juniperus oxycedrus L. - Western Prickly Juniper. Southwest Europe, in eastern Portugal and Spain east to southern France, northwest Italy, Corsica, and Sardinia, and northwest Africa from Morocco east to Tunisia. Leaves long (10–20 mm), narrow-based; cones smooth.
  • Juniperus navicularis Gand. (syn. J. oxycedrus subsp. transtagana) - Portuguese Prickly Juniper. Coastal southwest Portugal. Leaves short (5–12 mm); cones smooth.
  • Juniperus deltoides R.P.Adams - Eastern Prickly Juniper. Central Italy east to Iran and Israel. Leaves long (10–20 mm), broad-based; cones with raised scale edges.

Subspecies[edit]

An additional variety or subspecies J. oxycedrus var. badia H.Gay (syn. J. oxycedrus subsp. badia (H.Gay) Debeaux) is distinguished on the basis of larger cones (10–13 mm diameter), tinged purple when mature; it is described from northern Algeria, and also reported from Portugal and Spain.[1][4]

A further species Juniperus macrocarpa,[4] confined to Mediterranean coastal sands, is more distinct but has also often been treated as a subspecies of Prickly Juniper, as J. oxycedrus subsp. macrocarpa;[1] it differs in the broader leaves 2–3 mm wide, and larger cones 12–18 mm diameter.

Other close relatives of J. oxycedrus include Juniperus brevifolia on the Azores, Juniperus cedrus on the Canary Islands and Juniperus formosana in eastern Asia.[1][4]

Uses[edit]

Cade oil is the essential oil obtained through destructive distillation of the wood of this shrub. It is a dark, aromatic oil with a strong smoky smell which is used in some cosmetics and (traditional) skin treatment drugs, as well as incense.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Farjon, A. (2005). Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 1-84246-068-4
  2. ^ Conifer Specialist Group (1998). Juniperus oxycedrus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
  3. ^ Meiggs, R. 1982. Trees and Timber in the Ancient Mediterranean World.
  4. ^ a b c d e Adams, R. P. (2004). Junipers of the World. Trafford. ISBN 1-4120-4250-X
  5. ^ Arboretum de Villardebelle: photos of cones and shoots
  6. ^ Adams, R. P. (2000). Systematics of Juniperus section Juniperus based on leaf essential oils and RAPD DNA fingerprinting. Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 28: 515-528 available online (pdf file)
  7. ^ Adams, R. P. (2004). Juniperus deltoides, a new species and nomenclatural notes on Juniperus polycarpos and J. turcomanica (Cupressaceae). Phytologia 86: 49 - 53 available online (pdf file)
  8. ^ 1911 British Pharmacopaea: Cade Oil
  9. ^ 1918 US Dispensatory: Cade Oil
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