Caribbean pine

(Pinus caribaea)



Pinus caribaea is a hard pine species native to Central America and the northern West Indies (in Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands). It belongs to subsection Australes in subgenus Pinus. It inhabits tropical and subtropical coniferous forests such as Bahamian pineyards, in both lowland savannas and montane forests. It has been proposed that the pines of Australes subsection (of which Caribbean pine is part) arrived to the Caribbean basin from Southeastern USA. Regarding the population on the Bahamas, it has been proposed that this species emigrated into the region from Florida four or five thousand years ago, long after the end of the Ice Age, as the climate became wetter. Based on fossil species assemblages it is believed that the environment on the Bahamas was much less forested and a dry savannah during the glacial maxim some 18,000 years ago when the sea level was some 120m lower than it is today. Paleoclimatic and genetic data have been used to propose that Pinus caribaea ultimately originated in Central America. According to chloroplast genetic data, Pinus caribaea lineages colonized the Caribbean islands from populations in Central America at least twice (one leading to Cuban populations and another leading to the populations on the Bahamas).

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Coniferophyta
Class: Pinopsida
News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day