Invasive species

The Eastern and southeastern USA Threatened Conifer Region includes the Appalachian Province and the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Province. During repeated glaciations in the Pleistocene plants found refuge in the Appalachian Highlands hence the shared flora in this Region. The Appalachian Mountains, including the Smoky Mountains, is dominated by mixed mesophytic forest that include conifers such as Pinus strobus, P. resinosa, Tsuga canadensis, T. caroliniana and Taxus canadensis. At higher elevations the forests are dominated by Abies fraseri and Picea rubens but are now under stress due to acid rain and from invasive non-native pests. The coastal plains consist of extensive pines forests of P. rigida to the north, and P. palustris and P. elliottii to the south; threats here are related to fire which under natural conditions forms an integral part of the ecology. The coastal region is well known for its swamp forests of Virginia and Georgia where Taxodium distichum grows and for the narrow endemics Taxus floridanum and Torreya taxifolia which are among some of the most threatened conifers in the world.

Taxa in the category - Invasive species:

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Abies fraseri (Pursh) Poir.

Distributed in three States of eastern USA but as a result of severe infestation from the Balsam woolly adelgid, only one population remains unaffected Read full species entry >

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Abies koreana E.H.Wilson

Endemic to four mountains in South Korea, the population suffers a range of threats including climate change, introduced pathogens and invasive native and non-native plants Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo Boiss.

The Spanish fir has two subspecies distributed in southern Spain and northern Morocco where threats include fire, grazing and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Abies pinsapo var. marocana (Trabut) Ceballos & Bolanos

The Moroccan fir is restricted to two small forests in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco where over a period of 60 years it has suffered a 70% decline. Read full species entry >

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Agathis montana de laub.

Endemic to the Mt. Panié range in northern New Caledonia where recent research has found that the decline and loss of old-growth trees is probably due to a combination of factors including root damage by feral pigs, pathogen attack and climate change. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria araucana (Molina) K. Koch

Endemic to southern Argentina and Chile where it mainly occurs in the Andes. Threats include fire, grazing and encroachment from commercial plantations of exotic species. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria heterophylla (Salisb.) Franco

Endemic to Australia (Norfolk Island Group) where historical logging and forest clearance significantly reduced the population. Today the main threats relate to the impacts of invasive non-native species. Read full species entry >

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Araucaria humboldtensis J. Buchholz

One of 13 species of Araucaria endemic to New Caledonia where it is restricted to less than five locations. There has been a recent decline in the health of some high altitude stands. Read full species entry >

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