Caribbean

Fires may be the result of natural phenomena such as lightning or they may be man-induced. Usually natural fires are an integral part of plant community development and influence such things as soil nutrient availability and biological diversity. In contrast, uncontrolled or wildfires disrupt such processes and can have a catastrophic impacts. The vast majority of wildfires are intentionally set and often occur in conifer forests. In recent years extended droughts, together with the rapidly expanding exploitation of tropical forests and the demand for the conversion of forests to other land uses, have resulted in a dramatic increase in wildfires. While some conifers have evolved to be fire dependent by having serotinous cones that open and release their seed in response to fire, their populations are so small or fragmented that even natural fires may be catastrophic. This is particularly evident in areas with a Mediterranean climate. It is the introduction of inappropriate fire regimes (frequency, severity, or seasonal timing) that can have the most severe impact.

Taxa in the category - Caribbean:

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Juniperus barbadensis L.

Endemic to the Caribbean in the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica and St Lucia where threats include logging, fire and urbanisation Read full species entry >

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Juniperus barbadensis var. barbadensis

Endemic to one mountain in St Lucia where only about 50 mature individuals survive and are threatened by wild-fires Read full species entry >

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Juniperus barbadensis var. lucayana (Britton) R.P. Adams

Endemic to the West Indes where it occurs in the Bahamas, Cuba and Jamaica. Here it is threatened by fire, cutting and invasive pathogens. Read full species entry >

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Juniperus bermudiana L.

Endemic to Bermuda where historically it underwent a catastrophic decline of almost 95% due to scale insects, recent recovery is hampered by invasive plant species. Read full species entry >

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Juniperus gracilior Pilg.

Native to the Dominican Republic and Haiti where firewood collection, forest clearance and man-made fires have reduced the population to less than 1,000 mature individuals  Read full species entry >

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Juniperus gracilior var. ekmanii (Florin) R.P.Adams

Restricted to two localities in the Dominican Republic and Haiti where the few remaining trees are still threatened by cutting and firewood collection. Read full species entry >

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Juniperus gracilior var. urbaniana (Pilg. & Ekman) R.P.Adams

Occurs in the Dominican Republic and Haiti where there are less than 250 mature individuals; main threats include fire and overgrazing by livestock. Read full species entry >

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Juniperus saxicola Britton & P.Wilson

Endemic to a single mountain in eastern Cuba where fire and human disturbance has reduced the population to just 53 mature individuals. Read full species entry >

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