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Overview

Distribution

Mexican pinyon is distributed in the mountains of western Texas,
southwestern New Mexico, and southeastern Arizona [16,41,46,74,75,92].
A large part of its range occurs in Mexico, extending from the United
States border southward along the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra
Madre Oriental into northern Puebla [23,28,29,38,60]. Mexican pinyon
also occurs in Baja California Sur [18,50,85,90].

Papershell pinyon occurs on the Balcones escarpment of central and
western Texas and extends into northern Mexico [1,16,52,66,79].
  • 41. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 1. Adams, Robert P. 1977. Chemosystematics--analyses of populational differentiation & variability of ancestral & recent populations of Juniperus ashei. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 64(2): 184-209. [19845]
  • 16. Correll, Donovan S.; Johnston, Marshall C. 1970. Manual of the vascular plants of Texas. Renner, TX: Texas Research Foundation. 1881 p. [4003]
  • 18. Critchfield, William B.; Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1966. Geographic distribution of the pines of the world. Misc. Publ. 991. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 97 p. [20314]
  • 23. Elias, Thomas S. 1980. The complete trees of North America: field guide and natural history. New York: Times Mirror Magazines, Inc. 948 p. [21987]
  • 28. Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Phillips, Gregory C. 1988. High value crops from New Mexico pinyon pines. I. Crop improvement through woodland stand management. In: Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Pieper, Rex D., technical coordinators. Pinyon-juniper woodlands of New Mexico: a biological and economic appraisal. Special Report 73. Las Cruces, NM: New Mexico State University, College of Agriculture and Home Economics: 13-23. [5259]
  • 29. Floyd, Mary Elizabeth. 1981. The reproductive biology of two species of pinyon pine in the southwestern United States. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado. 269 p. Ph.D. dissertation. [1676]
  • 38. Hernandez C., Victor Manuel; Hernandez, Francisco Javier; Gonzales, Santiago Solis. 1992. Ecology of oak woodlands in the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and others]
  • 46. Lamb, S. H. 1971. Woody plants of New Mexico and their value to wildlife. Bull. 14. Albuquerque, NM: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 80 p. [9818]
  • 50. Leon de la Luz, Jose Luis; Benet, Rocio Coria. 1993. Additions to the flora of the Sierra de la Laguna, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Madrono. 40(1): 15-24. [20737]
  • 52. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1975. Rare and local conifers in the United States. Conservation Research Rep. No. 19. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 25 p. [15691]
  • 60. Mirov, N. T. 1961. Composition of gum turpentines of pines. Tech. Bull. No. 1239. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 158 p. [22164]
  • 66. Neilson, Ronald P. 1987. On the interface between current ecological studies and the paleobotany of pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 93-98. [4816]
  • 74. Reeves, Timothy. 1976. Vegetation and flora of Chiricahua National Monument, Cochise County, Arizona. Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University. 180 p. Thesis. [20385]
  • 75. Rehder, Alfred. 1940. Manual of cultivated trees and shrubs. New York: MacMillan Co.. 996 p. [21991]
  • 79. Schopmeyer, C. S., tech. coord. 1974. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 883 p. [2088]
  • 85. Tomback, Diana F.; Linhart, Yan B. 1990. The evolution of bird-dispersed pines. Evolutionary Ecology. 4: 185-219. [17534]
  • 90. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 92. Wauer, Roland H.; Ligon, J. David. 1974. Distributional relations of breeding avifauna of four southwestern mountains ranges. In: Wauer, Roland H.; Riskind, David H., eds. Transactions of the symposium on the biological resources of the Chihuahuan Desert region, United States and Mexico; 1974 October 17-18; Alpine, TX. Transactions and Proceedings Series No. 3. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 567-578. [16065]

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

More info on this topic.

This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

7 Lower Basin and Range
12 Colorado Plateau
13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont

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Occurrence in North America

AZ NM TX MEXICO

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Pinus cembroides subsp. cembroides :
United States (North America)
Mexico (Mesoamerica)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Pinus cembroides var. cembroides :
Mexico (Mesoamerica)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Pinus cembroides Zucc.:
Mexico (Mesoamerica)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: monoecious, tree

Mexican pinyon is a native, monoecious small tree. It averages 23 feet
(7 m) tall with a trunk diameter of 7 to 12 inches (17.8-30.5 cm), but
in protected areas it can reach up to 50 feet (15 m) high and have a
trunk diameter of 14 inches (35 cm) [16,33,41,69,75]. Stout, spreading
branches make a compact to spreading, rounded crown [16,75]. The bark
is thin, 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) or less [33,57,70]. Evergreen needles are in
bundles of three or infrequently in bundles of two or four. The needles
are 0.8 to 2 inches (2-5 cm) long [16,33,75,90]. Cones are 0.8 to 2
inches (2-5 cm) long [25,51]. The seeds are thick walled, wingless, and
0.5 to 0.75 inch (1.3-1.9 cm) long [16,33,69].
  • 41. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 16. Correll, Donovan S.; Johnston, Marshall C. 1970. Manual of the vascular plants of Texas. Renner, TX: Texas Research Foundation. 1881 p. [4003]
  • 25. Evans, Raymond A. 1988. Management of pinyon-juniper woodlands. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-249. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 34 p. [4541]
  • 33. Graves, Henry S. 1917. The pine trees of the Rocky Mountain region. Bulletin No. 460. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 48 p. [20321]
  • 51. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1950. Southwestern trees: A guide to the native species of New Mexico and Arizona. Agriculture Handbook No. 9. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 109 p. [20330]
  • 57. McCune, Bruce. 1988. Ecological diversity in North American pines. American Journal of Botany. 75(3): 353-368. [5651]
  • 69. Peattie, D. C. 1953. A natural history of western trees. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. 751 p. [19269]
  • 70. Perry, Jesse P., Jr. 1991. The pines of Mexico and Central America. Portland, OR: Timber Press. 231 p. [20328]
  • 75. Rehder, Alfred. 1940. Manual of cultivated trees and shrubs. New York: MacMillan Co.. 996 p. [21991]
  • 90. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]

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Physical Description

Tree, Evergreen, Monoecious, Habit erect, Trees without or rarely having knees, Tree with bark rough or scaly, Young shoots 3-dimensional, Buds not resinous, Leaves needle-like, Leaves alternate, Needle-like leaf margins entire (use magnification), Needle-like leaf margins finely serrulate (use magnification or slide your finger along the leaf), Leaf apex acute, Leaves < 5 cm long, Leaves > 5 cm long, Leaves < 10 cm long, Leaves grey-green, Leaves blue-green, Leaves not blue-green, Needle-like leaves triangular, Needle-like leaves somewhat rounded, Needle-like leaves not twisted, Needle-like leaf habit erect, Needle-like leaves per fascicle mostly 3, Needle-like leaf sheath early deciduous, Twigs glabrous, Twigs viscid, Twigs not viscid, Twigs without peg-like projections or large fascicles after needles fall, Berry-like cones orange, Woody seed cones < 5 cm long, Seed cones bearing a scarlike umbo, Umbo with obvious prickle, Bracts of seed cone included, Seeds brown, Seeds wingless, Seed wings narrower than body.
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Stephen C. Meyers

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Description

Shrubs or trees to 15m; trunk to 0.3m diam., strongly tapering, much branched; crown rounded. Bark red-brown to dark brown, shallowly and irregularly furrowed, ridges broad, scaly. Branches spreading-ascending; twigs red-brown, sometimes finely papillate, aging gray to gray-brown. Buds ovoid to short cylindric, pale red-brown, 0.5--1.2cm, slightly resinous. Leaves (2--)3(--4) per fascicle, spreading to upcurved, persisting 3--4 years, 2--6cm ´ 0.6--0.9(--1)mm, connivent, 2--3-sided, blue- to gray-green, abaxial surface not conspicuously whitened with stomatal bands or if stomatal bands present, these less conspicuous than on adaxial surfaces, often with 2 subepidermal resin bands evident, adaxial surfaces conspicuously whitened with stomatal lines, margins entire to finely serrulate, apex narrowly conic or subulate; sheath 0.5--0.7cm, scales soon recurved, forming rosette, shed early. Pollen cones ellipsoid, to 10mm, yellow. Seed cones maturing in 2 years, shedding seeds and falling soon thereafter, spreading, symmetric, ovoid before opening, broadly depressed-ovoid to nearly globose when open, 1--3.5cm, pale yellow- to pale red-brown, resinous, nearly sessile or short-stalked; apophyses thickened, slightly domed, angulate, transversely keeled; umbo subcentral, slightly raised to depressed, truncate or umbilicate. Seeds ovoid to obovoid; body (7--)12--15(--20)mm, brown, wingless. 2 n =24.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Pinus cembroides var. bicolor Little; P. cembroides var. remota Little; P. discolor D.K.Bailey & Hawksworth; P. remota (Little) D.K.Bailey & Hawksworth
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Ecology

Habitat

Sierra Madre Occidental Pine-oak Forests Habitat

This taxon is found in the Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests ecoregion, which boasts some of the richest biodiversity anywhere in North America, and contains about two thirds of the standing timber in Mexico. Twenty-three different species of pine and about 200 species of oak reside within the Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests ecoregion.

Pine-oak forests here typically grow on elevations between approximately 1500 and 3300 meters, and occur as isolated habitat islands in northern areas within the Chihuahuan Desert. Soils are typically deep, where the incline allows soil build-up and derived from igneous material, although metamorphic rocks also form part of the soils in the west and northwest portions of the sierra. Steep-sloped mountains have shaped some portions of the Sierra, while others are dominated by their deep valleys, tall canyons and cliffs. These steep-sided cliffs have thinner soils limiting vegetation to chaparral types; characterized by dense clumps of Mexican Manzanita (Arctostaphylos pungens), Quercus potosina and Netleaf Oak (Q. rugosa). There are also zones of natural pasture, with grasses from the genera Arisitida, Panicum, Bromus and Stevis.

The pine-oak forests gradually transform into an oak-grassland vegetative association. Such communities represent an ecological transition between pine-oak forests and desert grasslands..  Here, species such as Chihuahuan Oak (Quercus chihuahuensis), Shin Oak (Q. grisea),  Q. striatula and Emory Oak (Q. emoryi), mark a transition zone between temperate and arid environments, growing in a sparse fashion and with a well-developed herbaceous stratum resembling xeric scrub. Cacti are also part of these transition communities extending well into the woodlands. Some cacti species such as the Little Nipple Cactus (Mammillaria heyderi macdougalii), Greenflower Nipple Cactus (M. viridiflora), Mojave Mound Cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus), and Leding's Hedgehog Cactus (E. fendleri var. ledingii) are chiefly centered in these biotic communities. The dominant vegetation in the northernmost part of the ecoregion in the Madrean Sky Islands includes Chihuahua Pine (Pinus leiophylla), Mexican Pinyon (P. cembroides), Arizona Pine (P. arizonica), Silverleaf Oak (Quercus hypoleucoides), Arizona White Oak (Q. arizonica), Emory Oak (Q. emoryi), Netleaf Oak (Q. rugosa), Alligator Juniper (Juniperus deppeana), and Mexican Manzanita (Arctostaphylos pungens).

This ecoregion is an important area for bird richness and bird endemism. Likewise, virtually all of the ecoregion is included in the Sierra Madre Occidental and trans-mexican range Endemic Bird Area. Endemic bird species include the Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha EN) which is in danger of extinction, with population estimates as low as 500 pairs; the Tufted Jay (Cyanocorax dickeyi NT), Eared Quetzal (Euptilptis neoxenus NT) and the Green-striped Brush Finch (Buarremon virenticeps). Temperate and tropical influences converge in this ecoregion, forming a unique and rich complex of flora and fauna. Many other birds are found in this ecoregion including the Green Parakeet (Aratinga holochlora), Eared Trogon (Euptilotis neoxenus NT), Coppery-tailed Trogon (Trogon elegans), Grey-breasted Jay (Aphelocoma ultramarina), Violet-crowned Hummingbird (Amazilia violiceps), Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis NT), and Golden Eagle (Aguila chryaetos).  Some species found only in higher montane areas are the Gould's Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo mexicana), Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata), Mexican Chickadee (Poecile sclateri) and Hepatic Tanager (Piranga flava).

The Sierra Madre Mantled Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus madrensis NT) is an endemic to the Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests, restricted to southwestern Chihuahua, Mexico. The Mexican Gray Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) and Mexican Grizzly Bear (Ursus horribilis), although considered by most to be extinct from this ecoregion, once roamed these mountains. Mammals also present include White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), American Black Bear (Ursus americanus), Buller’s Chipmunk (Tamias bulleri), endemic Zacatecan Deer Mouse (Peromyscus difficilis), rock Squirrel (Spernophilis variegatus), Zacatecas Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys zacatecae) and Coati (Nasua nasua), to set forth a subset of mammals present.

Reptiles are also numerous in this ecoregion. Fox´s Mountain Meadow Snake (Adelophis foxi) is an endemic taxon to the ecoregion, only observed at the type locality at four kilometers east of  Mil Diez, about  3.2 kilometers west of El Salto, in southwestern Durango, Mexico. There are at least six species of rattlesnakes including the Mexican Dusky Rattlesnake (Crotalis triseriatus), Mojave Rattlesnake (C. scutulatus), Rock Rattlesnake (C. lepidus), Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (C. atrox), Twin-spotted Rattlesnake (C. pricei), and Ridgenose Rattlesnakes (C. willardi).  Clark's Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus clarkii) and Yarrow's Spiny Lizard (S. jarrovii), Bunchgrass Lizard (S. scalaris), and Striped Plateau Lizard (S. virgatus) are several of the lizards found in the Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests.

Along springs and streams the Western Barking Frog (Craugastor augusti) and the Tarahumara Frog (Rana tamahumarae) are two anuran taxa occurring in the ecoregion. Other anuran taxa found here include: Bigfoot Leopard Frog (Lithobates megapoda), Northwest Mexico Leopard Frog (Lithobates magnaocularis) and the Blunt-toed Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus modestus VU). The Sacramento Mountains Salamander (Aneides hardii) is an endemic salamander found in the Sierra Madre Occidental pine-oak forests, restricted to the Sacramento Mountains, Capitan Mountains, and Sierra Blanca in Lincoln and Otero Counties within southern New Mexico, USA.

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Sierra Madre Oriental Pine-oak Forests Habitat

This taxon is found in the Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests, which exhibit a very diverse community of endemic and specialized species of plants, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. These high mountains run north to south, beginning in the USA and ending in Mexico. The Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests are a highly disjunctive ecoregion, owing to the fact that they are present only at higher elevations, within a region with considerable expanses of lower elevation desert floor.

The climate is temperate humid on the northeastern slope, and temperate sub-humid on the western slope and highest portions of the mountain range. Pine-oak forest habitat covers most of the region, even though most of the primary forest has been destroyed or degraded. However, the wettest portions house a community of cloud forests that constitute the northernmost patches of this vegetation in Mexico. The forests grow on soils derived from volcanic rocks that have a high content of organic matter. The soils of lower elevations are derived from sedimentary rocks, and some of them are formed purely of limestone. In the northernmost portions of the ecoregion, the forests occur on irregular hummocks that constitute biological "islands" of temperate forest in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert. To the south, from Nuevo León southward until Guanajuato and Queretaro, the ecoregion is more continuous along the mainstem of the Sierra Madre Oriental.

Dominant tree species include the pines: the endemic Nelson's Pine (Pinus nelsonii), Mexican Pinyon (P. cembroides), Smooth-bark Mexican Pine (P. pseudostrobus), and Arizona Pine (P. arizonica); and the oaks Quercus castanea and Q. affinis. In mesic environments, the most common species are P. cembroides, and Alligator Juniper (Juniperus deppeana), but in more xeric environments on the west slopes of the mountains, the endemic P. pinceana is more abundant. Gregg's Pine (P. greggii) and Jelecote Pine (P. patula) are endemic.

Many mammalian species wander these rugged hills. Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Puma (Puma concolor), Cliff Chipmunk (Tamias dorsalis), Collared Peccary (Tayassu tajacu), Coati (Nasua narica), Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Coyote (Canis latrans) are a few of the many diverse mammals that inhabit this ecoregion. Some threatened mammals found in the ecoregion are: Bolaños Woodrat (Neotoma palatina VU); Diminutive Woodrat (Nelsonia neotomodon NT), known chiefly from the western versant of the Sierra Madre; Chihuahuan Mouse (Peromyscus polius NT); and Mexican Long-nosed Bat (Leptonycteris nivalis EN).

A considerable number of reptilian taxa are found in the Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests, including three endemic snakes: Ridgenose Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi); Fox´s Mountain Meadow Snake (Adelophis foxi); and the Longtail Rattlesnake (Crotalus stejnegeri VU), restricted to the central Sierra Madre. An endemic skink occurring in the ecoregion is the Fair-headed Skink (Plestiodon callicephalus). The Striped Plateau Lizard (Sceloporus virgatus) is endemic to the ecoregion. The Sonoran Mud Turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense VU) is found in the ecoregion and ranges from southwestern New Mexico south to northwestern Chihuahua.

The following anuran taxa occur in the Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests: Red-spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus); Cane Toad (Rhinella marina); Elegant Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne elegans); New Mexico Spadefoot Toad (Spea multiplicata); Sinaloa Toad (Incilius mazatlanensis); Pine Toad (Incilius occidentalis); Southwestern Toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus); Woodhouse's Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii); Great Plains Narrowmouth Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea); Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus); Plateau Toad (Anaxyrus compactilis); Texas Toad (Anaxyrus speciosus); Sonoran Desert Toad (Incilius alvarius), found only at lower ecoregion elevations here; Rana-ladrona Silbadora (Eleutherodactylus teretistes); Sabinal Frog (Leptodactylus melanonotus); Mexican Leaf Frog (Pachymedusa dacnicolor); Montezuma Leopard Frog (Lithobates montezumae); Yavapai Leopard Frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis); Northwest Mexico Leopard Frog (Lithobates magnaocularis); Bigfoot Leopard Frog (Lithobates megapoda), who generally breeds in permanent surface water bodies; Mexican Cascade Frog (Lithobates pustulosus); Tarahumara Frog (Lithobates tarahumarae VU); Western Barking Frog (Craugastor augusti); Lowland Burrowing Frog (Smilisca fodiens); Taylor's Barking Frog (Craugastor occidentalis); Blunt-toed Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus modestus VU), found only at the very lowest elevations of the ecoregion; Shiny Peeping Frog (Eleutherodactylus nitidus); California Chorus Frog (Pseudacris cadaverina); Rio Grande Frog (Lithobates berlandieri); Madrean Treefrog (Hyla eximia); Mexican Treefrog (Smilisca baudinii); Dwarf Mexican Treefrog (Tlalocohyla smithii); Canyon Treefrog (Hyla arenicolor); Northern Sheep Frog (Hypopachus variolosus); Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis). There are three salamanders found in the ecoregion: the endemic Sacramento Mountains Salamander (Aneides hardii), found only in very high montane reaches above 2400 meters; Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum); and the Tarahumara Salamander (Ambystoma rosaceum).

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
In much of its range, Pinus cembroides occupies a transition zone between (semi-)desert plateaux and valleys and more mesic coniferous montane forests. The altitudinal range is extensive: (800-)1,500-2,600(-2,800) m a.s.l., with highest occurrences in the SE of its range. It grows on a variety of substrates, ranging from alluvial bajadas to volcanic rock, usually on scarcely developed soils. It forms open woodland alone or mixed with Juniperus spp., Pinus nelsonii, P. pinceana, Quercus, Yucca, Agave, Cactaceae (e.g. Opuntia), Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, Arbutus and other shrubs of dry, hot areas; at higher and/or moister sites it forms part of a mixed pine-oak woodland or forest including, e.g. Pinus arizonica, P. engelmannii, P. leiophylla var. chihuahuana, and P. pseudostrobus in the southeastern part of its range. The climate is warm and dry, with annual precipitation varying from 380-650 mm and a dry season of 7-8 months. Frost may occur at higher elevations in the interior, but is infrequent. There is an important mutualist relationship with the corvid birds Aphelocoma coerulescens and Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus, which feed on the seeds and cache them, thereby providing an effective dispersal mechanism.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: competition, mesic, xeric

Mexican pinyon occurs in semiarid climates with relatively high
temperatures and evaporation rates. Precipitation is bimodal with wet
winters and summers [53,66,82].

Mexican pinyon is found on nearly level to steep slopes, foothills and
ridgetops, and in mid- to upper slope draws, ravines, and washes
[23,36,61,68,80]. It belongs to woodlands that are very dense on
north-facing slopes but open on south- and east-facing slopes [14].

Mexican pinyon typically occurs from 4,000 to 7,000 feet (1,219-2,188 m)
in elevation [14,19,33,84]. The maximum elevation of Mexican pinyon
changes with latitude, extending from as low as 2,000 feet (610 m) in
the northeastern part of its range to as high as 8,203 feet (2,500 m) in
southern Mexico [13,80,93].

Mexican pinyon occurs on soils that vary in texture and depth [29,70].
Soils may be shallow and eroded with textures ranging from sandy loam to
loamy sand [29,80]. However, soils also can be more than 60 inches (152
cm) deep with moderately fine to very fine textures or with alluvial
layers of stratified sands, gravels and cobbles [19,23,61,86]. Mexican
pinyon occupies soils derived from a broad range of parent materials
including granite, basalt, limestone, sandstone, and mixed alluvium
[17,59].

Along a moisture gradient from mesic to xeric sites in Arizona, Mexican
pinyon was not present on the mesic end of the gradient. It had 124
stems per acre (306 stems/ha) at the midmesic point and increased to 618
stems per acre (1526 stems/ha) at the most xeric end of the gradient.
The increase in Mexican pinyon stem number may have been due to a
release from competition with other less drought-tolerant conifers such
as Chihuahua pine [96].
  • 13. Bryant, Vaughn B., Jr. 1974. Late quaternary pollen records from the east-central periphery of the Chihuahuan Desert. In: Wauer, Roland H.; Riskind, David H., eds. Transactions of the symposium on the biological resources of the Chihuahuan Desert region, United States and Mexico; 1974 October 17-18; Alpine, TX. Transactions and Proceedings Series No. 3. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 3-21. [16055]
  • 14. Buechner, Helmut K. 1950. Life history, ecology, and range use of the pronghorn antelope in Trans-Pecos Texas. American Midland Naturalist. 43(2): 257-354. [4084]
  • 17. Covington, W. Wallace; DeBano, Leonard F. 1990. Effects of fire on pinyon-juniper soils. In: Krammes, J. S., technical coordinator. Effects of fire management of Southwestern natural resources: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 November 15-17; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-191. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 78-86. [11275]
  • 19. Denyes, H. Arliss. 1956. Natural terrestrial communities of Brewster County, Texas, with special reference to the distribution of the mammals. American Midland Naturalist. 55(2): 289-320. [10862]
  • 23. Elias, Thomas S. 1980. The complete trees of North America: field guide and natural history. New York: Times Mirror Magazines, Inc. 948 p. [21987]
  • 29. Floyd, Mary Elizabeth. 1981. The reproductive biology of two species of pinyon pine in the southwestern United States. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado. 269 p. Ph.D. dissertation. [1676]
  • 33. Graves, Henry S. 1917. The pine trees of the Rocky Mountain region. Bulletin No. 460. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 48 p. [20321]
  • 36. Henrickson, James; Johnston, Marshall C. 1986. Vegetation and community types of the Chihuahuan Desert. In: Barlow, J. C.; [and others]
  • 53. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1977. Research in the pinyon-juniper woodland. In: Aldon, Earl F.; Loring, Thomas J., technical coordinators. Ecology, uses, and management of pinyon-juniper woodlands: Proceedings of the workshop; 1977 March 24-25; Albuquerque, NM. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-39. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 8-19. [17252]
  • 59. Meyer, Edward R. 1974. A reconnaissance survey of pollen rain in Big Bend National Park, Texas: modern control for a paleoenvironmental study. In: Wauer, Roland H.; Riskind, David H., eds. Transactions of the symposium on the biological resources of the Chihuahuan Desert region, United States and Mexico; 1974 October 17-18; Alpine, TX. Transactions and Proceedings Series No. 3. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 115-123. [16058]
  • 61. Moir, William H. 1979. Soil-vegetation patterns in the central Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico. American Midland Naturalist. 102(2): 317-331. [4634]
  • 66. Neilson, Ronald P. 1987. On the interface between current ecological studies and the paleobotany of pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 93-98. [4816]
  • 68. Parker, Albert J. 1980. Site preferences and community characteristics of Cupressus arizonica Greene (Cupressaceae) in southeastern Arizona. Southwestern Naturalist. 25(1): 9-22. [20418]
  • 70. Perry, Jesse P., Jr. 1991. The pines of Mexico and Central America. Portland, OR: Timber Press. 231 p. [20328]
  • 80. Segura, Gerardo; Snook, Laura C. 1992. Stand dynamics and regeneration patterns of a pinyon pine forest in east central Mexico. Forest Ecology and Management. 47(1-4): 175-194. [18253]
  • 82. Swetnam, Thomas W.; Baisan, Christopher H.; Brown, Peter M.; Caprio, Anthony C. 1989. Fire history of Rhyolite Canyon, Chiricahua National Monument. Tech. Rep. No. 32. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit. 47 p. [10573]
  • 84. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 1992. Plant communities of Texas (Series level): February 1992. Austin, TX: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Natural Heritage Program. 38 p. [20509]
  • 86. Touchan, Ramzi; Bennett, Duane A.; Ffolliott, Peter F. 1992. Coppice thinning of Emory oak sprouts: effects on growth, yield, and harvesting cycle. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and others]
  • 93. Wells, Philip V. 1974. Post-glacial origin of the present Chihuahuan Desert less than 11,500 years ago. In: Wauer, Roland H.; Riskind, David H., eds. Transactions of the symposium on the biological resources of the Chihuahuan Desert region, United States and Mexico; 1974 October 17-18; Alpine, TX. Transactions and Proceedings Series No. 3. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 67-83. [16056]
  • 96. Whittaker, R. H. 1967. Gradient analysis of vegetation. Biological Review. 49: 207-264. [19966]

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: relict, series

Mexican pinyon occurs as individual scattered trees in interior
chaparral [11,56,61,74,82] and as occasional to frequent trees in the
Madrean evergreen and encinal woodlands [10,20,36,54,55,67,86]. Mexican
pinyon becomes dominant in the pygmy conifer (Pinus spp.)-oak (Quercus
spp.) scrub [67,84,95,97], pinyon (Pinus spp.)-juniper (Juniperus spp.)
woodlands [14,19,51,58,61,72], and pine (Pinus spp.)-oak woodlands
[11,32,50].

Mexican pinyon is an important species in Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga
menziesii), Chihuahua pine (Pinus leiophylla var. chihuahuana), and
ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa) series [20,37].

Mexican pinyon is one of the dominant trees in pinyon series [27,49,64].
It is minor in geographical range compared to true pinyon and is
included in the true pinyon series, since Mexican pinyon replaces true
pinyon across limited areas in Arizona and New Mexico [30,63,84]

Mexican pinyon occurs as a minor species in some of the relict Arizona
cypress (Cupressus arizonica) forests that are in upland positions
[29,62,67,68,74].

Some of the publications that list Mexican pinyon as a dominant or
indicator species are:

(1) Preliminary classification for the coniferous forest and woodland
series of Arizona and New Mexico [49]
(2) A series vegetation classification for Region 3 [63]
(3) Plant communities of Texas (Series level): February 1992 [84].

Woody species associated with Mexican pinyon but not previously
mentioned in Distribution and Occurrence include Arizona madrone
(Arbutus arizonica), Texas madrone (Arbutus texana), western white
honeysuckle (Lonicera albiflora), and Madrean mockorange (Philadelphus
madrensis) [11,19,49,74].
  • 10. Bock, Carl E.; Bock, Jane H. 1990. Effects of fire on wildlife in southwestern lowland habitats. In: Krammes, J. S., technical coordinator. Effects of fire management of Southwestern natural resources: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 November 15-17; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-191. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 50-64. [11273]
  • 11. Bowers, Janice E.; McLaughlin, Steven P. 1987. Flora and vegetation of the Rincon Mountains, Pima County, Arizona. Desert Plants. 8(2): 50-94. [495]
  • 14. Buechner, Helmut K. 1950. Life history, ecology, and range use of the pronghorn antelope in Trans-Pecos Texas. American Midland Naturalist. 43(2): 257-354. [4084]
  • 19. Denyes, H. Arliss. 1956. Natural terrestrial communities of Brewster County, Texas, with special reference to the distribution of the mammals. American Midland Naturalist. 55(2): 289-320. [10862]
  • 20. Dick-Peddie, William A. 1993. New Mexico vegetation: past, present, and future. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. 244 p. [21097]
  • 27. Ffolliott, Peter F.; Thorud, David B. 1974. Vegetation for increased water yield in Arizona. Tech. Bull. 215. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, Agricultural Experiment Station. 38 p. [4448]
  • 29. Floyd, Mary Elizabeth. 1981. The reproductive biology of two species of pinyon pine in the southwestern United States. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado. 269 p. Ph.D. dissertation. [1676]
  • 30. Floyd, Mary E. 1986. Inter- and intraspecific variation in pinon pine populations. Botanical Gazette. 147(2): 180-188. [4066]
  • 32. Gehlbach, Frederick R. 1967. Vegetation of the Guadalupe Escarpment, New Mexico-Texas. Ecology. 48(3): 404-419. [5149]
  • 36. Henrickson, James; Johnston, Marshall C. 1986. Vegetation and community types of the Chihuahuan Desert. In: Barlow, J. C.; [and others]
  • 37. Herbel, Carlton H. 1979. Utilization of grass- and shrublands of the south-western United States. In: Walker, B. H., ed. Management of semi-arid ecosystems. Volume 7. Developments in agriculture and managed-forest ecology. Amsterdam: Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company: 161-203. [1134]
  • 49. Layser, Earle F.; Schubert, Gilbert H. 1979. Preliminary classification for the coniferous forest and woodland series of Arizona and New Mexico. Res. Pap. RM-208. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 27 p. [1428]
  • 50. Leon de la Luz, Jose Luis; Benet, Rocio Coria. 1993. Additions to the flora of the Sierra de la Laguna, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Madrono. 40(1): 15-24. [20737]
  • 51. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1950. Southwestern trees: A guide to the native species of New Mexico and Arizona. Agriculture Handbook No. 9. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 109 p. [20330]
  • 54. Lowe, Charles H. 1964. Arizona's natural environment: Landscapes and habitats. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. 136 p. [20736]
  • 55. Lowe, Charles H.; Holm, Peter A. 1991. The amphibians and reptiles at Saguaro National Monument, Arizona. Technical Report No. 37. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Cooperative National Park Resources Study Unit. 20 p. [18335]
  • 56. Marroquin, Jorge S. 1974. A physiognomic analysis of the types of transitional vegetation in the eastern parts of the Chihuahuan Desert in Coahuila, Mexico. In: Wauer, Roland H.; Riskind, David H., eds. Transactions of the symposium on the biological resources of the Chihuahuan Desert region, United States and Mexico; 1974 October 17-18; Alpine, TX. Transactions and Proceedings Series No. 3. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 249-272. [16062]
  • 58. Meeuwig, Richard O.; Bassett, Richard L. 1983. Pinyon-juniper. In: Burns, Russell M., compiler. Silvicultural systems for the major forest types of the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 445. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 84-86. [3899]
  • 61. Moir, William H. 1979. Soil-vegetation patterns in the central Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico. American Midland Naturalist. 102(2): 317-331. [4634]
  • 62. Moir, William H. 1982. A fire history of the high Chisos, Big Bend National Park, Texas. Southwestern Naturalist. 27(1): 87-98. [5916]
  • 63. Moir, W. H. 1983. A series vegetation classification for Region 3. In: Moir, W. H.; Hendzel, Leonard, tech. coords. Proceedings of the workshop on Southwestern habitat types; 1983 April 6-8; Albuquerque, NM. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southwestern Region: 91-95. [1672]
  • 64. Moir, W. H.; Carleton, J. O. 1987. Classification of pinyon-juniper (p-j) sites on National Forests in the Southwest. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 216-226. [6852]
  • 67. Niering, William A.; Lowe, Charles H. 1984. Vegetation of the Santa Catalina Mountains: community types and dynamics. Vegetatio. 58: 3-28. [12037]
  • 68. Parker, Albert J. 1980. Site preferences and community characteristics of Cupressus arizonica Greene (Cupressaceae) in southeastern Arizona. Southwestern Naturalist. 25(1): 9-22. [20418]
  • 72. Plumb, Gregory A. 1992. Vegetation classification of Big Bend National Park, Texas. Texas Journal of Science. 44(4): 375-387. [20091]
  • 74. Reeves, Timothy. 1976. Vegetation and flora of Chiricahua National Monument, Cochise County, Arizona. Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University. 180 p. Thesis. [20385]
  • 82. Swetnam, Thomas W.; Baisan, Christopher H.; Brown, Peter M.; Caprio, Anthony C. 1989. Fire history of Rhyolite Canyon, Chiricahua National Monument. Tech. Rep. No. 32. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit. 47 p. [10573]
  • 84. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 1992. Plant communities of Texas (Series level): February 1992. Austin, TX: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Natural Heritage Program. 38 p. [20509]
  • 86. Touchan, Ramzi; Bennett, Duane A.; Ffolliott, Peter F. 1992. Coppice thinning of Emory oak sprouts: effects on growth, yield, and harvesting cycle. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and others]
  • 95. Westman, W. E.; Whittaker, R. H. 1975. The pygmy forest region of northern California: studies on biomass and primary productivity. Journal of Ecology. 63: 493-520. [8186]
  • 97. Whittaker, R. H.; Niering, W. A. 1965. Vegetation of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona: a gradient analysis of the south slope. Ecology. 46: 429-452. [9637]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

More info for the term: shrub

FRES20 Douglas-fir
FRES21 Ponderosa pine
FRES28 Western hardwoods
FRES32 Texas savanna
FRES34 Chaparral - mountain shrub
FRES35 Pinyon - juniper

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

66 Ashe juniper - redberry (Pinchot) juniper
67 Mohrs (shin) oak
210 Interior Douglas-fir
211 White fir
237 Interior ponderosa pine
239 Pinyon - juniper
240 Arizona cypress
241 Western live oak

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

K019 Arizona pine forest
K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland
K031 Oak - juniper woodlands

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Habitat & Distribution

Pinyon-juniper woodland, foothills, mesas, tablelands; 700--2300m; Ariz., N.Mex., Tex.; Mexico.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Comments: Poor, shallow, rocky, or gravelly soils on mountain slopes, canyons, and foothills (Elias, 1980). Its range is so broad that no particular soil type appears to be associated with it; however, moisture and altitude --1,500-2,800(3000) m-- are important ecological factors in its distribution (Perry, 1991).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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General Ecology

Fire Management Considerations

More info for the terms: density, fuel

Although varying with microsite differences or canopy closure, fuel
loads in pinyon pine habitats where Mexican pinyon is the principal tree
are usually discontinuous and light, resulting in low fire frequencies
[57,62,100]. Fuel in uncut stands is mostly on the surface beneath tree
canopies, which limits fire spread between trees. With open canopies,
the understory can vary from sparse to dense herbaceous and shrubby
vegetation [17,80]. Surface fuel build up is slow in low productivity
pinyon-juniper savannas [62]. Fire effects in this vegetation type are
not well understood [17].

Fire suppression and reduction of surface fuels by grazing have resulted
in the invasion of grasslands and chaparral by pinyon [17,65,82,100].
Prescribed burning can kill invading seedlings and young trees less than
4 feet (1.2 m) tall [9,17]. A single fire can reduce Mexican pinyon
sapling density tenfold. Mexican pinyon 80 years or older are more
resistant to fire [62]. If fires do not kill mature trees, follow up
with mechanical control methods can be used to eliminate pinyon [17,100].

Low-severity surface fires at 50 or 60 year intervals will thin Mexican
pinyon, preventing development of thickets. Fire intervals greater than
80 years result in dense stands of Mexican pinyon and a build up of
fuel. There is also a larger risk of severe fires and crowning [62].

In narrow canyons, Mexican pinyon crowns can overlap both with one
another and with herbaceous vegetation on slopes. Small fires can
easily become crown fires. Fire hazard can be reduced by thinning
stands [80].

Dwarf mistletoe infection in Mexican pinyon stands may affect fire
hazard conditions by increasing flammability within crowns and
increasing downed woody fuels [35].
  • 9. Block, William M.; Ganey, Joseph L.; Severson, Kieth E.; Morrison, Michael L. 1992. Use of oaks by neotropical migratory birds in the Southwest. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and others]
  • 17. Covington, W. Wallace; DeBano, Leonard F. 1990. Effects of fire on pinyon-juniper soils. In: Krammes, J. S., technical coordinator. Effects of fire management of Southwestern natural resources: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 November 15-17; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-191. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 78-86. [11275]
  • 35. Hawksworth, Frank G. 1978. Biological factors of dwarf mistletoe in relation to control. In: Scharpf, Robert F.; Parmeter, John R., Jr., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on dwarf mistletoe control through forest management; 1978 April 11-13; Berkeley, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-31. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 5-15. [14249]
  • 57. McCune, Bruce. 1988. Ecological diversity in North American pines. American Journal of Botany. 75(3): 353-368. [5651]
  • 62. Moir, William H. 1982. A fire history of the high Chisos, Big Bend National Park, Texas. Southwestern Naturalist. 27(1): 87-98. [5916]
  • 65. Mueggler, Walter F. 1976. Ecological role of fire in western woodland and range ecosystems. In: Use of prescribed burning in western woodland and range ecosystems: Proceedings of the symposium; 1976 March 18-19; Logan, UT. Logan, UT: Utah State University, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station: 1-9. [1709]
  • 80. Segura, Gerardo; Snook, Laura C. 1992. Stand dynamics and regeneration patterns of a pinyon pine forest in east central Mexico. Forest Ecology and Management. 47(1-4): 175-194. [18253]
  • 82. Swetnam, Thomas W.; Baisan, Christopher H.; Brown, Peter M.; Caprio, Anthony C. 1989. Fire history of Rhyolite Canyon, Chiricahua National Monument. Tech. Rep. No. 32. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit. 47 p. [10573]
  • 100. Wright, Henry A.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1982. Fire ecology: United States and southern Canada. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 501 p. [2620]

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: sere, tree

Mexican pinyon probably establishes from seed cached by birds and small
mammals following fire. A proposed sere for the pinyon-juniper
woodlands in which Mexican pinyon occurs suggests that tree seedlings
establish within approximately 30 years following fire [25].

In narrow canyons in the highlands between Puebla and Veracruz, Mexico,
Mexican pinyon forests reach crown closure 20 years following fire [80].
  • 25. Evans, Raymond A. 1988. Management of pinyon-juniper woodlands. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-249. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 34 p. [4541]
  • 80. Segura, Gerardo; Snook, Laura C. 1992. Stand dynamics and regeneration patterns of a pinyon pine forest in east central Mexico. Forest Ecology and Management. 47(1-4): 175-194. [18253]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Low-severity fires kill Mexican pinyon seedlings and young trees; severe
fires kill even mature trees [17,62]. Fire probably kills seeds unless
they are covered with an insulating layer of soil.
  • 17. Covington, W. Wallace; DeBano, Leonard F. 1990. Effects of fire on pinyon-juniper soils. In: Krammes, J. S., technical coordinator. Effects of fire management of Southwestern natural resources: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 November 15-17; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-191. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 78-86. [11275]
  • 62. Moir, William H. 1982. A fire history of the high Chisos, Big Bend National Park, Texas. Southwestern Naturalist. 27(1): 87-98. [5916]

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: root crown, secondary colonizer

Tree without adventitious-bud root crown
Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)
Secondary colonizer - off-site seed

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Fire Ecology

More info for the terms: fire regime, severity

Community composition and the spatial distribution of intermixed woody
species and understory species influence the effect fire has on Mexican
pinyon. Despite its thin bark, mature Mexican pinyon is relatively
resistant to low- to moderate-severity fires. Mexican pinyon more than
80 years old have survived at least four fires, including one of
moderate severity, in Big Bend National Park, Texas [62]. Seedlings
probably establish from bird and rodent caches following fire.

Mexican pinyon belongs to diverse communities with varying FIRE REGIMES.
Historically, fires probably occurred every 10 to 30 years in
pinyon-juniper woodlands. Fire is the primary cause of secondary
succession in pinyon-juniper woodlands [42].

Pygmy conifer-oak scrub on steep, rocky slopes and crests develops in
response to fire and drought [67]. It is fire adapted and its structure
is maintained by periodic fires [95].

Madrean oak-pine woodlands probably are fire-tolerant, fire-maintained
communites. The fire regime is not well understood for these
associations [21,82]. Mexican pinyon occurs in a Madrean oak-pine
woodland in Rhyolite Canyon in Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona.
Historically, surface fires occurred here in 1- to 38-year intervals.
The fire regime has become longer here and elsewhere since livestock
grazing has reduced surface fuels [21,83].

In a Madrean evergreen woodland in Boot Canyon in Big Bend National
Park, Texas, ring counts from fire scarred Mexican pinyon indicated that
at least 10 fires occurred between 1770 and 1940, an average of about 1
every 20 years. Low-severity surface fires do not always produce scars
on Mexican pinyon. Additionally, cross dating with other species is
necessary due to missing growth rings in Mexican pinyon [62]. Average
intervals between scar-producing fires were estimated at possibly 70
years for seven sites in the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park
[62,82].
  • 21. Dick-Peddie, William A.; Alberico, Michael S. 1977. Fire ecology study of the Chisos Mountains, Big Bend National Park, Texas: Phase I. CDRI Contribution No. 35. Alpine, TX: The Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute. 47 p. [5002]
  • 42. Koniak, Susan. 1985. Succession in pinyon-juniper woodlands following wildfire in the Great Basin. Great Basin Naturalist. 45(3): 556-566. [1371]
  • 62. Moir, William H. 1982. A fire history of the high Chisos, Big Bend National Park, Texas. Southwestern Naturalist. 27(1): 87-98. [5916]
  • 67. Niering, William A.; Lowe, Charles H. 1984. Vegetation of the Santa Catalina Mountains: community types and dynamics. Vegetatio. 58: 3-28. [12037]
  • 82. Swetnam, Thomas W.; Baisan, Christopher H.; Brown, Peter M.; Caprio, Anthony C. 1989. Fire history of Rhyolite Canyon, Chiricahua National Monument. Tech. Rep. No. 32. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources, Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit. 47 p. [10573]
  • 83. Swetnam, Thomas W.; Baisan, Christopher H.; Caprio, Anthony C.; Brown, Peter M. 1992. Fire history in a Mexian oak-pine woodland and adjacent montane conifer gallery forest in southeastern Arizona. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and others]
  • 95. Westman, W. E.; Whittaker, R. H. 1975. The pygmy forest region of northern California: studies on biomass and primary productivity. Journal of Ecology. 63: 493-520. [8186]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: climax, succession, tree

Facultative Seral Species

Mexican pinyon does well as an understory tree when canopies are
relatively open. Most Mexican pinyon seedlings establish beneath open
canopies in partial shade. Mexican pinyon becomes less shade tolerant
as a sapling [20,25,33,80].

Mexican pinyon woodlands vary in community structure; succession is not
well defined for these systems. The pine-oak woodlands and forests in
which Mexican pinyon occurs are considered both as ecotones that are not
well developed and as climax vegetation that is extensive and well
developed [11,30].

Since pinyons will invade dry rocky sites, Little [53] suggested that
Mexican pinyon could be considered a pioneer species. However, most
authors identify it as a late successional or climax species, especially
since nurse plants facilitate Mexican pinyon establishment [20,24,25,
100]. Mexican pinyon is climax in pinyon, evergreen oak, and Chihuahuan
pine woodlands [49]. Mexican pinyon is an infrequent and minor seral
species in white fir (Abies concolor) and Douglas-fir forests [21,49].
  • 11. Bowers, Janice E.; McLaughlin, Steven P. 1987. Flora and vegetation of the Rincon Mountains, Pima County, Arizona. Desert Plants. 8(2): 50-94. [495]
  • 20. Dick-Peddie, William A. 1993. New Mexico vegetation: past, present, and future. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. 244 p. [21097]
  • 21. Dick-Peddie, William A.; Alberico, Michael S. 1977. Fire ecology study of the Chisos Mountains, Big Bend National Park, Texas: Phase I. CDRI Contribution No. 35. Alpine, TX: The Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute. 47 p. [5002]
  • 25. Evans, Raymond A. 1988. Management of pinyon-juniper woodlands. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-249. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 34 p. [4541]
  • 30. Floyd, Mary E. 1986. Inter- and intraspecific variation in pinon pine populations. Botanical Gazette. 147(2): 180-188. [4066]
  • 33. Graves, Henry S. 1917. The pine trees of the Rocky Mountain region. Bulletin No. 460. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 48 p. [20321]
  • 49. Layser, Earle F.; Schubert, Gilbert H. 1979. Preliminary classification for the coniferous forest and woodland series of Arizona and New Mexico. Res. Pap. RM-208. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 27 p. [1428]
  • 53. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1977. Research in the pinyon-juniper woodland. In: Aldon, Earl F.; Loring, Thomas J., technical coordinators. Ecology, uses, and management of pinyon-juniper woodlands: Proceedings of the workshop; 1977 March 24-25; Albuquerque, NM. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-39. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 8-19. [17252]
  • 80. Segura, Gerardo; Snook, Laura C. 1992. Stand dynamics and regeneration patterns of a pinyon pine forest in east central Mexico. Forest Ecology and Management. 47(1-4): 175-194. [18253]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: cover, facilitation, seed tree, shrubs, tree

Mexican pinyon regenerates by seed; reports of vegetative reproduction
were not found in the literature. Mexican pinyon begins bearing seeds
at about 25 years, although trees on dry sites have delayed maturity
[57]. Seed production increases with age [28,33]. Cones require 3
years to mature. In Arroyo Ancho, Chihuahua, Mexico, Mexican pinyon
produced about 110 to 125 cones per tree during 1978 [29]. Large crops
are produced at intervals of 3 to 8 years [28,33,44]. Synchrony of cone
crops has not been found [29]. Rainfall is positively correlated with
the production of the cone buds. Summer moisture stress at the time of
cone bud production occasionally may promote an above-average crop of
strobili the following spring, indicating that reproductive growth is
favored over vegetative growth when trees are stressed. Temperatures in
late August and early September are negatively correlated with cone
production; maximum production occurred when the mean maximum weekly
temperature was below 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 deg C) [28].

Cones can experience heavy predation by invertebrates; up to 90 percent
of the seed crop may be lost to insect predation [29,33]. Insects
destroy a higher percentage of the cones from small than large cone
crops [53].

Mexican pinyon and other pinyons produce only a few seeds per cone.
Seed viability is initially high (85-95%) but decreases within 1 year
[25,33]. The heavy, wingless seeds fall and germinate beneath the
relatively open seed tree canopies [80]. The seeds are adapted to
dispersal and burial by rodents, other mammals, and birds such as
Clark's nutcrackers and jays [48,53,57,85]. Clumped seedlings may
reflect animal facilitation and/or microsite differences.

Conditions for cone and seed collection and seed germination are
discussed in the literature [29,44,89]. Seeds are thick walled, but
stratification is not necessary for germination [25,29,44].

Establishment of Mexican pinyon seedlings depends on the availability of
adequate water during the first dry seasons. Mexican pinyon
establishment is facilitated by nurse plants such as low shrubs and
trees [5,29,53]. In a transplant study, Mexican pinyon seedlings
without cover died within 8 weeks, and seedlings planted beneath
adjacent oak canopies survived [29]. Four-month-old seedlings of
Mexican pinyon and other pines were subjected to drought tolerance
experiments in a greenhouse study. Mexican pinyon was the most drought
resistant species; its seedlings survived 60 days without water [6].

Tree growth rates vary widely [17,33,57]. Mexican pinyon stand
structure and regeneration patterns are strongly influenced by
disturbances such as fire [80].
  • 5. Barton, Andrew M. 1992. Factors controlling lower elevational limits of plants: responses of pines to drought in the Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and others]
  • 6. Barton, Andrew M.; Teeri, James A. 1993. The ecology of elevational positions in plants: drought resistance in five montane pine species in southwestern Arizona. American Journal of Botany. 80(1): 15-25. [20527]
  • 17. Covington, W. Wallace; DeBano, Leonard F. 1990. Effects of fire on pinyon-juniper soils. In: Krammes, J. S., technical coordinator. Effects of fire management of Southwestern natural resources: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 November 15-17; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-191. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 78-86. [11275]
  • 25. Evans, Raymond A. 1988. Management of pinyon-juniper woodlands. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-249. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 34 p. [4541]
  • 28. Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Phillips, Gregory C. 1988. High value crops from New Mexico pinyon pines. I. Crop improvement through woodland stand management. In: Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Pieper, Rex D., technical coordinators. Pinyon-juniper woodlands of New Mexico: a biological and economic appraisal. Special Report 73. Las Cruces, NM: New Mexico State University, College of Agriculture and Home Economics: 13-23. [5259]
  • 29. Floyd, Mary Elizabeth. 1981. The reproductive biology of two species of pinyon pine in the southwestern United States. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado. 269 p. Ph.D. dissertation. [1676]
  • 33. Graves, Henry S. 1917. The pine trees of the Rocky Mountain region. Bulletin No. 460. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 48 p. [20321]
  • 44. Krugman, Stanley L.; Jenkinson, James L. 1974. Pinaceae--pine family. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., technical coordinator. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 598-637. [1380]
  • 48. Lanner, Ronald M. 1990. Biology, taxonomy, evolution, and geography of stone pines of the world. In: Schmidt, Wyman C.; McDonald, Kathy J., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on whitebark pine ecosystems: ecology and management of a high-mountain resource; 1989 March 29-31; Bozeman, MT. Gen Tech. Rep. INT-270. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 14-24. [11672]
  • 53. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1977. Research in the pinyon-juniper woodland. In: Aldon, Earl F.; Loring, Thomas J., technical coordinators. Ecology, uses, and management of pinyon-juniper woodlands: Proceedings of the workshop; 1977 March 24-25; Albuquerque, NM. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-39. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 8-19. [17252]
  • 57. McCune, Bruce. 1988. Ecological diversity in North American pines. American Journal of Botany. 75(3): 353-368. [5651]
  • 80. Segura, Gerardo; Snook, Laura C. 1992. Stand dynamics and regeneration patterns of a pinyon pine forest in east central Mexico. Forest Ecology and Management. 47(1-4): 175-194. [18253]
  • 85. Tomback, Diana F.; Linhart, Yan B. 1990. The evolution of bird-dispersed pines. Evolutionary Ecology. 4: 185-219. [17534]
  • 89. Villagomez-Aguilar, Y.; Carrera-Garcia, M. S. 1979. Effects of seed stratification in three species of the genus Pinus. Ciencia. 4(17): 31-55. [22524]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: phanerophyte

Phanerophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: tree

Tree

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

New leaves are formed annually in the spring and persist for 3 to 4
years [33]. Seed production requires 3 years. Female cone buds are
formed from August to September [28]. Pollination occurs the following
spring during March and April [98]. Cones mature from August through
October of the third year [28,90]. Seeds begin to drop by mid- to late
October [33].
  • 28. Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Phillips, Gregory C. 1988. High value crops from New Mexico pinyon pines. I. Crop improvement through woodland stand management. In: Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Pieper, Rex D., technical coordinators. Pinyon-juniper woodlands of New Mexico: a biological and economic appraisal. Special Report 73. Las Cruces, NM: New Mexico State University, College of Agriculture and Home Economics: 13-23. [5259]
  • 33. Graves, Henry S. 1917. The pine trees of the Rocky Mountain region. Bulletin No. 460. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 48 p. [20321]
  • 90. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 98. Wiggins, Ira L. 1980. Flora of Baja California. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1025 p. [21993]

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Pinus cembroides

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


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pinus cembroides

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 8
Specimens with Barcodes: 25
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
Thomas, P. & Perez de la Rosa, J.

Contributor/s

Justification

A very widespread species, mainly in Mexico but extending into the USA in three states. Its wide distribution and abundance indicate an assessment of Least Concern. Although two of the subspecies are assessed as threatened, they represent a relatively small part of the overall species' distribution and population.

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: This pine is distributed widely in Mexico, and extends into Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas (Elias, 1980). It is used almost daily for fuelwood, small local construction and for food (seeds), also, there is clearing and fire of the areas where the species inhabits; over most of tis range stands are slowly but steadily diminishing (Perry, 1991).

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Population

Population
This species is abundant throughout its range, because its habitat almost never burns and because the species is not generally logged due to its small size.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
No specific or range wide threats have been identified for this species.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is known from several protected areas and also occurs in many remote areas.
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Management considerations

More info for the terms: natural, selection, tree

Mexican pinyon and the woodlands it occurs in have been examined for
production potential, silvicultural practices, utilization, and
alternative products [2,25,28,60,76]. Seed-tree and shelterwood cutting
do not usually work well for Mexican pinyon due to harsh site conditions
[34,78]. Individual tree and group selection cutting has been
successful in some pinyon-juniper woodlands [78]. Volume equations have
been derived for Mexican pinyon assessment [15].

Grazing occurs in most pinyon-juniper woodlands [47]. Grazing removes
young Mexican pinyon leader shoots; Mexican pinyon recovers by growing
from lateral buds [29]. Conversion of natural pinyon-juniper woodlands
in which Mexican pinyon occurs to grasslands has resulted in the
destruction of mature trees on a few hundred thousand acres [53].
Despite the report by Little [53] that he had never seen evidence of
pinyons invading grasslands, the pinyon-juniper type is reported to have
invaded surrounding communities, including grasslands, for the past 50
to 80 years [8]. In Arroyo Ancho of Chihuahua, Mexico, 5- to 7-year-old
Mexican pinyon had invaded an area dominated by oaks and grasses [29].

Mexican pinyon should be considered for reforestation projects in arid
and semiarid areas. It normally produces useful products such as fuel
and food under these climate conditions [70].

Mexican pinyon is susceptible to pinyon blister rust (Cronartium
occidentale) and pinyon dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium divaricatum).
Mexican pinyon infected by pinyon dwarf mistletoe has reduced growth
rates, reduced seed production, increased mortality, and is predisposed
to infection by other pests [35,91].
  • 2. Aldon, Earl F.; Loring, Thomas J., tech. coord. 1977. Ecology, uses, and management of pinyon-juniper woodlands: Proceedings of the workshop; 1977 March 24-25; Albuquerque, NM. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-39. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 48 p. [17260]
  • 8. Blackburn, Wilbert H.; Bruner, Allen D. 1975. Use of fire in manipulation of the pinyon-juniper ecosystem. In: The pinyon-juniper ecosystem: a symposium; 1975 May; Logan, UT. Logan, UT: Utah State University, College of Natural Resources, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station; 1975: 91-96. [454]
  • 15. Chojnacky, David C. 1988. Juniper, pinyon, oak, and mesquite volume equations for Arizona. Res. Pap. INT-391. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 11 p. [3373]
  • 25. Evans, Raymond A. 1988. Management of pinyon-juniper woodlands. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-249. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 34 p. [4541]
  • 28. Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Phillips, Gregory C. 1988. High value crops from New Mexico pinyon pines. I. Crop improvement through woodland stand management. In: Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Pieper, Rex D., technical coordinators. Pinyon-juniper woodlands of New Mexico: a biological and economic appraisal. Special Report 73. Las Cruces, NM: New Mexico State University, College of Agriculture and Home Economics: 13-23. [5259]
  • 29. Floyd, Mary Elizabeth. 1981. The reproductive biology of two species of pinyon pine in the southwestern United States. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado. 269 p. Ph.D. dissertation. [1676]
  • 34. Gray, Susan E. 1991. Seed-tree regeneration method: Silvicultural considerations. In: Genetics/silviculture workshop proceedings; 1990 August 27-31; Wenatchee, WA. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Timber Management Staff: 183-219. [16028]
  • 35. Hawksworth, Frank G. 1978. Biological factors of dwarf mistletoe in relation to control. In: Scharpf, Robert F.; Parmeter, John R., Jr., technical coordinators. Proceedings of the symposium on dwarf mistletoe control through forest management; 1978 April 11-13; Berkeley, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-31. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 5-15. [14249]
  • 47. Lanner, Ronald M. 1981. The pinon pine: A natural and cultural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 208 p. [21981]
  • 53. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1977. Research in the pinyon-juniper woodland. In: Aldon, Earl F.; Loring, Thomas J., technical coordinators. Ecology, uses, and management of pinyon-juniper woodlands: Proceedings of the workshop; 1977 March 24-25; Albuquerque, NM. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-39. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 8-19. [17252]
  • 60. Mirov, N. T. 1961. Composition of gum turpentines of pines. Tech. Bull. No. 1239. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 158 p. [22164]
  • 70. Perry, Jesse P., Jr. 1991. The pines of Mexico and Central America. Portland, OR: Timber Press. 231 p. [20328]
  • 76. Ronco, Frank, Jr. 1987. Stand structure and function of pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 14-22. [5772]
  • 78. Schmidt, Wyman C.; Larson, Milo. 1989. Silviculture of western inland conifers. In: Burns, Russell M., compiler. The scientific basis for silvicultural and management decisions in the National Forest System. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-55. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 40-58. [10245]
  • 91. Walters, James W. 1978. A guide to forest diseases of southwestern conifers. R3 78-9. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southwest Region, State and Private Forestry, Forest Insect and Disease Management. 36 p. [16779]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Other uses and values

The oily and edible Mexican pinyon seeds are an important food source in
the southwestern United States and in Mexico [23,40,43, 51,53,69].
Seeds are harvested by native Americans and commercial pickers in the
fall after the cones open [43,53]. Mexican pinyon and other pinyons
have been harvested commercially for about 50 years; Mexican pinyon
seeds are primarily marketed in Mexico [28,51]. Mexican pinyon seeds
are less preferred than those of other pinyons due to the hard seedcoat [47].

Mexican pinyon has been used as an ornamental in the United States since
1830 [44,53,101]. It is cultivated for Christmas trees [28,40,53].

Mexican pinyon resin is used to waterproof and cement pots, baskets, and
jewelery [47,90].
  • 28. Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Phillips, Gregory C. 1988. High value crops from New Mexico pinyon pines. I. Crop improvement through woodland stand management. In: Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Pieper, Rex D., technical coordinators. Pinyon-juniper woodlands of New Mexico: a biological and economic appraisal. Special Report 73. Las Cruces, NM: New Mexico State University, College of Agriculture and Home Economics: 13-23. [5259]
  • 40. Huber, Dean W. 1992. Utilization of hardwoods, fuelwood, and special forest products in California, Arizona, and New Mexico. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and others]
  • 43. Krochmal, Arnold; Krochmal, Connie. 1982. Uncultivated nuts of the United States. Agriculture Information Bulletin 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 89 p. [1377]
  • 44. Krugman, Stanley L.; Jenkinson, James L. 1974. Pinaceae--pine family. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., technical coordinator. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 598-637. [1380]
  • 47. Lanner, Ronald M. 1981. The pinon pine: A natural and cultural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 208 p. [21981]
  • 51. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1950. Southwestern trees: A guide to the native species of New Mexico and Arizona. Agriculture Handbook No. 9. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 109 p. [20330]
  • 53. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1977. Research in the pinyon-juniper woodland. In: Aldon, Earl F.; Loring, Thomas J., technical coordinators. Ecology, uses, and management of pinyon-juniper woodlands: Proceedings of the workshop; 1977 March 24-25; Albuquerque, NM. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-39. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 8-19. [17252]
  • 90. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 101. Wright, Jonathan W. 1953. Notes on flowering and fruiting of northeastern trees. Station Paper No. 60. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 38 p. [5009]

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Cover Value

More info for the term: cover

Mexican pinyon groves and pinyon-juniper associations furnish cover for
wildlife such as white-tailed deer, pronghorn, rock squirrel, mountain
cottontail, mice, ringtail, and common hog-nosed skunk [19,39,46,47].
  • 19. Denyes, H. Arliss. 1956. Natural terrestrial communities of Brewster County, Texas, with special reference to the distribution of the mammals. American Midland Naturalist. 55(2): 289-320. [10862]
  • 39. Howard, Volney W., Jr. 1988. Importance of pinyon-juniper woodlands to wildlife. In: Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Pieper, Rex D., tech. coords. Pinyon-juniper woodlands of New Mexico: a biological and economic appraisal. Special Report 73. Las Cruces, NM: New Mexico State University, College of Agriculture and Home Economics, Agricultural Experiment Station: 45-47. [5775]
  • 46. Lamb, S. H. 1971. Woody plants of New Mexico and their value to wildlife. Bull. 14. Albuquerque, NM: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 80 p. [9818]
  • 47. Lanner, Ronald M. 1981. The pinon pine: A natural and cultural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 208 p. [21981]

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Wood Products Value

More info for the term: fuel

Mexican pinyon is used for fuel, fenceposts, and small construction timbers,
but rarely for lumber [23,33,70,90]. The wood is soft, heavy, and
varies from fine- to coarse-grained [51,69,70].
  • 23. Elias, Thomas S. 1980. The complete trees of North America: field guide and natural history. New York: Times Mirror Magazines, Inc. 948 p. [21987]
  • 33. Graves, Henry S. 1917. The pine trees of the Rocky Mountain region. Bulletin No. 460. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 48 p. [20321]
  • 51. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1950. Southwestern trees: A guide to the native species of New Mexico and Arizona. Agriculture Handbook No. 9. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 109 p. [20330]
  • 69. Peattie, D. C. 1953. A natural history of western trees. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. 751 p. [19269]
  • 70. Perry, Jesse P., Jr. 1991. The pines of Mexico and Central America. Portland, OR: Timber Press. 231 p. [20328]
  • 90. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

Mexican pinyon was 1 of 38 pine species tested in planting trials on
sandhills in northwestern Florida. Mexican pinyon did not survive [12].
  • 12. Brendemuehl, R. H. 1981. Options for management of sandhill forest land. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 5: 216-222. [9305]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

Mexican pinyon seeds are utilized by wildlife including Merriam's
turkey, thick-billed parrot, black bear, porcupine, squirrels,
chipmunks, and other small mammals and birds [9,23,29,46,69,90].
Collared peccary infrequently consume Mexican pinyon seeds from July to
September [22].

Cattle, goats, and mule deer browse Mexican pinyon [90,99].

In oak-juniper-pinyon woodland of southeastern Arizona, 36 breeding bird
species foraged for insects more on Mexican pinyon and Chihuahua pine
needles than would have been expected from random foraging patterns [4].
  • 4. Balda, Russell P.; Masters, Nancy. 1980. Avian communities in the pinyon-juniper woodland: a descriptive analysis. In: DeGraaf, Richard M., technical coordinator. Management of western forests and grasslands for nongame birds: Workshop proceedings; 1980 February 11-14; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-86. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 146-169. [17903]
  • 9. Block, William M.; Ganey, Joseph L.; Severson, Kieth E.; Morrison, Michael L. 1992. Use of oaks by neotropical migratory birds in the Southwest. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and others]
  • 22. Eddy, Thomas A. 1961. Foods and feeding patterns of the collared peccary in southern Arizona. Journal of Wildlife Management. 25: 248-257. [9888]
  • 23. Elias, Thomas S. 1980. The complete trees of North America: field guide and natural history. New York: Times Mirror Magazines, Inc. 948 p. [21987]
  • 29. Floyd, Mary Elizabeth. 1981. The reproductive biology of two species of pinyon pine in the southwestern United States. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado. 269 p. Ph.D. dissertation. [1676]
  • 46. Lamb, S. H. 1971. Woody plants of New Mexico and their value to wildlife. Bull. 14. Albuquerque, NM: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. 80 p. [9818]
  • 69. Peattie, D. C. 1953. A natural history of western trees. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. 751 p. [19269]
  • 90. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707]
  • 99. Woodin, Howard E.; Lindsey, Alton A. 1954. Juniper-pinyon east of the Continental Divide, as analyzed by the line-strip method. Ecology. 35: 473-489. [285]

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Nutritional Value

Mexican pinyon seeds have the highest amounts of protein of the pinyons.
Its seeds are approximately 19 percent protein, 60 percent fat, and 14
percent carbohydrates [47].
  • 47. Lanner, Ronald M. 1981. The pinon pine: A natural and cultural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 208 p. [21981]

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Wikipedia

Mexican pinyon

Pinus cembroides, also known as pinyon pine,[2] Mexican pinyon,[2] Mexican nut pine,[2] and Mexican stone pine,[2] is a pine in the pinyon pine group, native to western North America.

Distribution[edit]

The range extends from westernmost Texas, United States (where it is restricted to the Chisos and Davis Mountains), south through much of Mexico, occurring widely along the Sierra Madre Oriental and Sierra Madre Occidental ranges, and more rarely in the eastern Eje Volcánico Transversal range.[3] It lives in areas with little rainfall, which fluctuates between 380 millimetres (15 in) to 640 millimetres (25 in), the subspecies orizabensis (Pinus orizabensis) is found farther south in the state of Veracruz. There is also a disjunct population in the Sierra de la Laguna of southern Baja California Sur. It occurs at moderate altitudes, mostly from 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) to 2,400 metres (7,900 ft).

Description[edit]

Detail of foliage, cones

Pinus cembroides is a small to medium-size tree, reaching 8 metres (26 ft) to 20 metres (66 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 50 centimetres (20 in). The bark is dark brown, thick and deeply fissured at the base of the trunk. The leaves ('needles') are in mixed pairs and threes, slender, 3 centimetres (1.2 in) to 6 centimetres (2.4 in) long, and dull yellowish green, with stomata on both inner and outer surfaces.

The cones are globose, 3 centimetres (1.2 in) to 4 centimetres (1.6 in) long and broad when closed, green at first, ripening yellow-brown when 18–20 months old, with only a small number of thick scales, with typically 5-12 fertile scales. The cones open to 4 centimetres (1.6 in) to 5 centimetres (2.0 in) broad when mature, holding the seeds on the scales after opening. The seeds are 10 millimetres (0.39 in) to 12 millimetres (0.47 in) long, with a thick shell, a pink endosperm, and a vestigial 2 millimetres (0.079 in) wing; they are dispersed by the Mexican Jay, which plucks the seeds out of the open cones. The jay, which uses the seeds as a major food resource, stores many of the seeds for later use, and some of these stored seeds are not used and are able to grow into new trees.

History[edit]

Mexican pinyon was the first pinyon pine described, named by Zuccarini in 1832. Many of the other pinyon pines have been treated as varieties or subspecies of it at one time or another in the past, but research in the last 10–50 years has shown that most are distinct species. Some botanists still include Johann's pinyon and Orizaba pinyon in Mexican pinyon; the former accounts for records of "Mexican pinyon" in southern Arizona and New Mexico.

Mexican pinyon is a relatively non-variable species, with constant morphology over the entire range except for the disjunct population in the Sierra de la Laguna pine-oak forests of Baja California Sur; this is generally treated as a subspecies, Pinus cembroides subsp. lagunae, although some botanists treat it as a separate species, P. lagunae. This subspecies differs from the type in having slightly longer leaves, between 4 centimetres (1.6 in) and 7 centimetres (2.8 in) and longer, narrower cones, up to 5.5 centimetres (2.2 in) long.

The seeds are widely collected in Mexico, being the main edible pine nut in the region.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Plant List: a Working List of All Plant Species". 
  2. ^ a b c d "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". 
  3. ^ Moore, Gerry; Kershner, Bruce; Craig Tufts; Daniel Mathews; Gil Nelson; Spellenberg, Richard; Thieret, John W.; Terry Purinton; Block, Andrew (2008). National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America. New York: Sterling. p. 93. ISBN 1-4027-3875-7. 

References[edit]

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Comments

Pinus cembroides is the common pinyon of Mexican commerce. Populations of the Edwards Plateau, Texas, are disjunct about 150km east and north of the main area of distribution of the species, and they have been described as a distinct variety, P . cembroides var. remota Little, on the basis of thin seed shell and a higher frequency of 2-leaved fascicles in contrast to the thicker seed shell and prevalently 3-leaved fascicles in Mexican pinyon populations to the west and south. The strong overlap in nearly all character states between the populations of the Edwards Plateau and other populations makes var. remota difficult to maintain.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

Mexican pinyon
border pinyon
papershell pinyon

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Synonyms

Pinus discolor Bailey & Hawksworth [20,76,77]
Pinus lagunae Passini [3]
Pinus orizabensis Bailey & Hawksworth [3]
Pinus remota (Little) Bailey & Hawksworth [28,88,94]
  • 20. Dick-Peddie, William A. 1993. New Mexico vegetation: past, present, and future. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. 244 p. [21097]
  • 28. Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Phillips, Gregory C. 1988. High value crops from New Mexico pinyon pines. I. Crop improvement through woodland stand management. In: Fisher, James T.; Mexal, John G.; Pieper, Rex D., technical coordinators. Pinyon-juniper woodlands of New Mexico: a biological and economic appraisal. Special Report 73. Las Cruces, NM: New Mexico State University, College of Agriculture and Home Economics: 13-23. [5259]
  • 76. Ronco, Frank, Jr. 1987. Stand structure and function of pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 14-22. [5772]
  • 3. Bailey, D. K.; Hawksworth, Frank G. 1992. Change in status of Pinus cembroides subsp. orizabensis (Pinaceae) from central Mexico. Novon. 2(4): 306-307. [21301]
  • 77. Ronco, Frank P., Jr. 1990. Pinus edulis Engelm. pinyon. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 327-337. [13395]
  • 88. Van Devender, T. R.; Spaulding, W. G. 1979. Development of vegetation and climate in the southwestern United States. Science. 204: 701-710. [10098]
  • 94. Wells, Philip V. 1987. Systematics and distribution of pinyons in the Late Quaternary. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 104-108. [4818]

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The currently accepted scientific name of Mexican pinyon is Pinus
cembroides Zucc. It is a member of the pine family (Pinaceae)
[16,41,98]. Two varieties in addition to the typical variety are
recognized: papershell pinyon (P. c. var. remota Little) and Mexican
pinyon (P. c. var. bicolor Little) [44,79,88].

There is taxonomic disagreement about P. cembroides in the strict sense.
Bailey and Hawksworth and others have split P. cembroides infrataxa and
raised them to specific status [3,20,30,77,70,94]. Two subspecies (P.
c. ssp. lagunae D. K. Bailey and P. c. ssp. orizabensis D. K. Bailey)
beside the typical subspecies of P. cembroides were recognized; however,
recently each was raised to specific status [3,70]. The two varieties,
P. c. var. remota and P. c. var. bicolor, were synonomized to P. remota
(Little) Bailey & Hawksworth and P. discolor Bailey & Hawksworth (border
pinyon), respectively [20,30,47,77,94]. All names are currently used in
the literature.

Bailey and Hawksworth relegated P. c. var. bicolor to synonomy with P.
discolor based on differences in flowering times, bark color, needle
color and number, and two monoterpene compounds [70]. Variation in
flowering time and needle number throughout the revised range of P.
cembroides is inclusive of P. discolor characters [1,16]. Therefore,
this writeup considers P. cembroides in the broad sense. For readers
who support the realignment, studies concerning United States
populations of P. cembroides may be interpreted as P. discolor [29,57,76].

Hybrids occur between Mexican pinyon and true pinyon (P. edulis) where
their ranges overlap [29].
  • 41. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 1. Adams, Robert P. 1977. Chemosystematics--analyses of populational differentiation & variability of ancestral & recent populations of Juniperus ashei. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 64(2): 184-209. [19845]
  • 16. Correll, Donovan S.; Johnston, Marshall C. 1970. Manual of the vascular plants of Texas. Renner, TX: Texas Research Foundation. 1881 p. [4003]
  • 20. Dick-Peddie, William A. 1993. New Mexico vegetation: past, present, and future. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. 244 p. [21097]
  • 29. Floyd, Mary Elizabeth. 1981. The reproductive biology of two species of pinyon pine in the southwestern United States. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado. 269 p. Ph.D. dissertation. [1676]
  • 30. Floyd, Mary E. 1986. Inter- and intraspecific variation in pinon pine populations. Botanical Gazette. 147(2): 180-188. [4066]
  • 44. Krugman, Stanley L.; Jenkinson, James L. 1974. Pinaceae--pine family. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., technical coordinator. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 598-637. [1380]
  • 47. Lanner, Ronald M. 1981. The pinon pine: A natural and cultural history. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press. 208 p. [21981]
  • 57. McCune, Bruce. 1988. Ecological diversity in North American pines. American Journal of Botany. 75(3): 353-368. [5651]
  • 70. Perry, Jesse P., Jr. 1991. The pines of Mexico and Central America. Portland, OR: Timber Press. 231 p. [20328]
  • 76. Ronco, Frank, Jr. 1987. Stand structure and function of pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 14-22. [5772]
  • 79. Schopmeyer, C. S., tech. coord. 1974. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 883 p. [2088]
  • 98. Wiggins, Ira L. 1980. Flora of Baja California. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1025 p. [21993]
  • 3. Bailey, D. K.; Hawksworth, Frank G. 1992. Change in status of Pinus cembroides subsp. orizabensis (Pinaceae) from central Mexico. Novon. 2(4): 306-307. [21301]
  • 77. Ronco, Frank P., Jr. 1990. Pinus edulis Engelm. pinyon. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., technical coordinators. Silvics of North America. Volume 1. Conifers. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 327-337. [13395]
  • 88. Van Devender, T. R.; Spaulding, W. G. 1979. Development of vegetation and climate in the southwestern United States. Science. 204: 701-710. [10098]
  • 94. Wells, Philip V. 1987. Systematics and distribution of pinyons in the Late Quaternary. In: Everett, Richard L., compiler. Proceedings--pinyon-juniper conference; 1986 January 13-16; Reno, NV. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-215. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 104-108. [4818]

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