The black pine (Pinus nigra), simply called Black Pine in Europe, is a species of pine tree with many varieties and found in southern Europe from Spain to the Crimea, Asia Minor, Cyprus, and locally in the Atlas Mountains in Northwest Africa.
One of its subspecies, Salzmann pine – because of its resistance to drought – is the subject of study, from INRA in particular, which is considering the value in the context of prospect of global warming. Its natural populations are a priority habitat under the Habitats Directive “pine (sub-) Mediterranean pine forests with endemic black: Pin de Salzmann.
In Europe and Asia Minor, the pines usually grow in a habitat shared by other conifers such as Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), the Serbian spruce (Picea omorika), Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) Norway spruce (Picea abies), the cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani), fir (Abies alba) and other evergreens, several species of juniper (Juniperus), and various hardwoods.
The European black pine is used as an ornament city, including the U.S., because of its high resistance to road salt used in winter, the various industrial pollutants (including ozone), and its tolerance drought.
The pine grows at altitudes ranging between sea level and two thousand meters, most commonly between 250 and 1600 m. A large tree as its size reaches 20-55 m. height at maturity. The color of his skin is yellow-brown to gray and is covered with large flat scales separated by deep cracks which widen with increasing age. The leaves, called needles, each with two arms forming a V, are colored dark green, and eight to twenty centimeters in length. Cones egg and pollen appear from May or June.
The cones mature seeds from five to ten centimeters long, and have rounded scales; ripening, which occurs in September and November, eighteen months after pollination, increased their color from green to yellow light buff . The seeds provided with wings, are dispersed by wind during the opening of cones, from December to April. Sexual maturity of the tree is reached between fifteen and forty years. Large quantities of seed are produced every two to five years. Its growth is moderately rapid, 30-70 cm. per year, and, in general, it has a rounded conical shape, becoming irregular with age. It has a fairly long life: some have more than five hundred years. The pine does not like shade and needs plenty of sun to thrive, but it is resistant to damage caused by snow and ice.
The wood of black pine, similar to that of pine and red pine (Pinus resinosa), is moderately hard and has a straight grain. It tends to be rougher, softer and weaker, due to the faster growth of the tree. It is used, especially in Europe, as fuel and in the manufacture of paper and in general construction (eg, Napoleon employed include Corsican pine laricios like masts for his ships).
Each variety is adapted to different soil types, according to its geographical origin: the Austrian pines or the Pyrenees thrive easily on a wide range of soils, the Corsican Corsican resents calcareous soils in contrast to the pines of Turkish origin or crimeenne. Whatever its provenance, the black pine grows easily in the podzol. The eastern subspecies nigra demonstrated a greater robustness to freezing in winter, even below -30C, the western subspecies salzmannii resistant up to about -25C.
It may be a relic species, which has also been used for reforestation projects, and particularly in France found in 4 areas studied by INRA;
1. Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert (reforestation of several hundreds of hectares) and Carlencas in the foothills of the Cevennes (Herault)
2. Cevennes proper (Gard, Ardeche)
3. the confines of the Cevennes with the neck of Uglas (Gard) and bosques of less than one hundred trees in the Gorges du Tarn (Lozere), and Conflent (Pyrenees-Orientales).
But that is locally may not be indigenous or have undergone genetic pollution .
The cards’ Habitat priority “on this pin recommend both;
– Managed in situ populations and their genetic diversity, by opening the stand for natural regeneration, forest management or disposal of classic black pines introduced. For INRA only trees over 150 years are probably likely to be very Native);
– An ex situ conservation (seed crop conservatory, orchard with raising seedlings from seeds or transplants) .
This species is in France subject of grafting and genetic studies and general in the context of a network of genetic resource conservation and classification of stands.
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