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Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
There are two principal growth forms of Pinus mugo, commonly recognized as distinct taxa: a shrub-like, sometimes nearly decumbent form (subsp. mugo) and an erect tree (subsp. rotundata), which occupy different habitats. The shrubby form grows on mountain slopes and ridges from about 1,000 m to 2,300 m a.s.l. in the mountain ranges of Europe most exposed to storms associated with depression systems in the North Atlantic. Especially in the Carpathians, it forms dense mat-like thickets above montane forests dominated by Fagus or Picea; in the western Alps and the Pyrenees the upright form (subspecies) dominates on nutrient poor slopes. Pinus mugo in the eastern Alps may have replaced original Larch-Arolla pine woods which were disturbed by human activities and grazing of their animals. The species often occurs on dolomite limestone, but is in fact indifferent to soil type; this prevalence probably has historical reasons. While upright stands of P. mugo subsp. rotundata can be fairly rich plant communities, the associated species with the decumbent subsp. mugo are much fewer due to harsh environmental conditions, such as exposure and long-lasting snow cover.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Associations

Foodplant / parasite
aecium of Coleosporium asterum parasitises live Pinus mugo

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / pathogen
Brunchorstia anamorph of Gremmeniella abietina infects and damages live twig of Pinus mugo
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Monochamus sartor feeds within dead, fallen branch of Pinus mugo
Other: minor host/prey

Fungus / saprobe
immersed apothecium of Therrya pini is saprobic on brittle, dead, attached, lacking needles branch (small) of Pinus mugo
Remarks: season: 2-7

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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Chromophores protect from harmful UV: dwarf mountain pine
 

Chromophores in cuticular wax of the dwarf mountain pine protect it from harmful UV by absorbing the most harmful UV-B and UV-A without lowering the received photosynthetically active radiation.

     
  "Solar UV radiation is harmful to many biological systems, as well as all kind of technical applications. UV protective coatings are commonly utilised to shield many susceptible substances. In an attempt to learn from nature we demonstrate that for the Pinus mugo subsp. mugo (dwarf mountain pine) the cuticular wax layer provides UV protection. This biological coating contains chromophores that absorb UV radiation in such a way that it removes the most harmful UV-B and UV-A from the solar spectrum received by the plant and does not lower the received PAR (photosynthetically active radiation)...The principle of turning...harmful radiation into useful energy sets an example for new biological based coatings." (Jacobs 2007:166)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Jacobs JF; Koper GJM; Ursem WNJ. 2007. UV protective coatings: A botanical approach. Progress in Organic Coatings. 58: 166–171.
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Functional adaptation

Fluorophores enhance photosynthesis: dwarf mountain pine
 

Cuticular wax of dwarf mountain pine enhance photosynthesis by having fluorophores that convert harmful solar UV into blue light that can be utilised for photosynthesis in low-light conditions.

       
  "[T]he P. mugo [Pinus] grown at high elevations in the Alps has a cuticular wax coat that also contains fluorophores, which convert the harmful solar UV into blue light. This additional blue light can be utilised for photosynthesis in low-light conditions, which gives the P. mugo ecological advantage over other Alpine species. The principle of turning useless...radiation into useful energy sets an example for new biological based coatings." (Jacobs 2007:166)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Jacobs JF; Koper GJM; Ursem WNJ. 2007. UV protective coatings: A botanical approach. Progress in Organic Coatings. 58: 166–171.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Pinus mugo

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


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pinus mugo

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Pinus mugo subsp. x rotundata

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


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pinus mugo subsp. x rotundata

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
Thomas, P. & Luscombe, D

Contributor/s

Justification
As Pinus mugo is widespread and in most cases occurs in areas where it is not threatened by human activities, it is assessed as Least Concern. Pinus mugo subsp. rotundata has a much more limited distribution and is restricted to mid-elevation peat bogs. Habitat loss due to afforestation and draining has resulted in a reduction in its area of occupancy and this subspecies has been assessed as Endangered. However, as this subspecies represents a relatively small part of the global population of Pinus mugo, the overall assessment for the species does not change.
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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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Population

Population
Very common at and above the treeline in montane areas.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
No significant, range wide threats have been identified for this species or for P. mugo subsp. mugo. Tourist and recreation-related developments (e.g. ski resorts and ski runs) could have some effect at a very localized level and acid rain in the eastern parts of its range may also be a problem (Boratynsky et al. 2009). Pinus mugo subsp. rotundata has a more limited distribution than the typical subspecies and is also restricted to peat bogs. Many of these have been drained and afforested with Picea abies. As a result this subspecies has been assessed as Endangered (see assessment for further details).
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Management

Conservation Actions

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

Pinus mugo

Pinus mugo, known as mountain pine, dwarf mountain pine, scrub mountain pine, Swiss mountain pine, mugo pine[3] or creeping pine,[4] is a species of conifer, native to high elevation habitats from southwestern to Central Europe.

Distribution[edit]

Pinus mugo is native to the Pyrenees, Alps, Erzgebirge, Carpathians, northern Apennines, and higher Balkan Peninsula mountains. It is usually found from 1,000–2,200 m (3,281–7,218 ft), occasionally as low as 200 m (656 ft) in the north of the range in Germany and Poland, and as high as 2,700 m (8,858 ft) in the south of the range in Bulgaria and the Pyrenees.

Subspecies[edit]

There are three subspecies:

  • Pinus mugo subsp. mugo — in the east and south of the range (southern & eastern Alps, Balkan Peninsula), a low, shrubby, often multi-stemmed plant to 3–6 m (10–20 ft) tall with symmetrical cones.
  • Pinus mugo subsp. uncinata — in the west and north of the range (from the Pyrenees northeast to Poland), a larger, usually single-stemmed tree to 20 m (66 ft) tall with asymmetrical cones (the scales are much thicker on one side of the cone than the other).
    Some botanists treat the western subspecies as a separate species, Pinus uncinata, others as only a variety, Pinus mugo var. rostrata. This subspecies in the Pyrenees marks the alpine tree line or timberline, the edge of the habitat at which trees are capable of growing.
  • Pinus mugo subsp. rotundata — hybrid subspecies, of the two subspecies above that intergrade extensively in the western Alps and northern Carpathians.
Pinus mugo subsp. uncinata at 2,200 m (7,200 ft) in the Néouvielle massif, France.

Both subspecies have similar foliage, with dark green leaves ("needles") in pairs, 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) long.

The cones are nut-brown, 2.5–5.5 cm (0.98–2.17 in) long: and in subsp. mugo are symmetrical, thin-scaled and matt textured; and in in subsp. uncinata are asymmetrical with thick scales on the upper side of the cone, thin on the lower side, and glossy textured.

An old name for the species Pinus montana is still occasionally seen, and a typographical error "mugho" (first made in a prominent 18th century encyclopedia) is still repeated surprisingly often.

Uses[edit]

Cultivation[edit]

Pinus mugo is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant, for use as a small tree or shrub, planted in gardens and in larger pots and planters. It is also used in Japanese garden style landscapes, and for larger bonsai specimens.

Cultivars[edit]

Numerous cultivars have been selected. The cultivar Pinus mugo 'Mops' was given the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit. [5]

Cultivars with seasonal changes in foliage color include Pinus mugo 'Wintergold' and Pinus mugo 'Ophir'.

Culinary use[edit]

A recent trend is the increase in use of the Mugo pine in cooking. Buds and young cones are harvested from the wild in the spring and left to dry in the sun over the summer and into the fall. The cones and buds gradually drip syrup, which is then boiled down to a concentrate and combined with sugar to make pine syrup.[6][7] Menus also use the terms "pinecone syrup"[8] or "pine cone syrup"[9] to refer to this ingredient.

Invasive species[edit]

P. mugo is a classed as a wilding conifer, an invasive species that spreads in the high country of New Zealand.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pinus mugo (Mountain Pine)". BioLib. BioLib. 1999-2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". 
  3. ^ "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". 
  4. ^ Andersson, F. (2005). Coniferous Forests. Elsevier. ISBN 9780444816276. 
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pinus mugo 'Mops'". Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Wild Mugolio Pine Syrup". Zingerman's Mail Order. Zingerman's Mail Order LLC. 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Wild Mugolio Pine Syrup". Cube Marketplace. Divine Pasta Company. 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Piccolo Restaurant - Minneapolis: Menu". Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  9. ^ Colicchio, Tom (3 March 2009). "Tom Tuesday Dinner March 3, 2009" (PNG). Tom Tuesday Dinner. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
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