Podocarpus parlatorei Pilg.

An ecologically important species from the Argentinian and Bolivian Yungas forests. It is listed under CITES Appendix 1 due to heavy exploitation.


This species has a distribution on the eastern-most flanks of the Andes of northwestern Argentina and Bolivia

Argentina (Provs. of: Catamarca, Corrientes, Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán)
Bolivia Dept. Chuquisaca (Provs. of: Belisario Boeto, Hernando Siles, Sud Cinti, Tomina), Dept. Cochabamba (Prov. Mizque), Dep. Potosí. (Prov. Charcas); Dept. Santa Cruz (Provs. of: Manuel Maria Caballero, Vallegrande), Dept. Tarija (Provs. of: Aniceto Arce, José María Avilés, Mendez, O'Connor).

The extent of occurrence is well in excess of the thresholds for the threatened categories. The current area of occupancy is uncertain.

The population has a distribution that is divided by wide river valleys, latitudinally and longitudinally and as a result it is naturally fragmented by lowland Chiquitano subandino forest and interandino xeric valleys. In northern Argentina, the Boliviano–Tucumano formation is also fragmented into three ecological and latitudinal sectors, recognized as north, central, and south (Brown and Ramadori 1989). It has a north-south distribution of ca. 1,000 km and at its widest it is ca. 100km, but usually this is less. The pattern of distribution is stable with regard to the number of subpopulations and the range and at local level it is observed that many of the subpopulations are starting to expand into grazing areas (CITES 2008).

Habitat and Ecology

Podocarpus parlatorei forms a tree between 15 to 30 m tall. It is a cold-tolerant pioneer species occurring within Montane Yungas Forests at elevations varying from 1,200 to 3,000 m above sea level (Quiroga et al.2012). In Bolivia, it grows on the Peruano–Boliviano Yungas and continues to the south in Argentina, on the Boliviano–Tucumano formation (Navarro and Ferreira 2004). It is capable of regenerating following large-scale disturbances (Arturi et al.1998|), for example, it is the most abundant species in post-grazing secondary forests (Carilla and Grau 2010). At its southern limit in Argentina it often occurs in pure forests, whereas in the north of its range it grows underneath the canopy of Alnus acuminata, Cedrela lilloi, and Juglans australis (Morales et al. 1995). It is wind pollinated and the fruits are dispersed by birds such as Guans (Penelope) and Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata), or mammals such as Hog-nosed Skunk (Conepatus chinga). Ecological studies on forest dynamics has shown that P. parlatorei rarely regenerates within the closed canopy of mature forests but instead abundant regeneration occurs in open areas after large-scale disturbances (Quiroga et al.2012). Recruitment is intense at forest edges but absent in grassland areas due to a lack of major dispersal agents. As a pioneer and long-lived tree, it is an important forest component in facilitating the establishment of many other shade-tolerant species (Quiroga et al. 2012).

Human Uses

It is used by local rural communities as a source of firewood, to make wooden posts, utensils or housing, as living fencing around houses and pastures. It was first CITES-listed under Appendix I in 1975 and although there was a proposal by Argentina to down-list this species to Appendix II in 2008 (CITES 2008) this was rejected (CITES 2009).

Conservation Status

Global Status

Near Threatened

Global Rationale

To date Podocarpus parlatorei has been listed as Data Deficient but there has been plenty of recent research which now enables a more accurate assessment. It has a ca. 1,000 x 100 km (usually less this) distribution along the Andes of northwestern Argentina and Bolivia but within this zone it is naturally fragmented. The extent of occurrence clearly falls outside of the threshold for any of the threatened categories and because there are no available figures for the historic loss through logging it is not possible to estimate the reduction in population size under criterion A. However, it is reasonable to suspect that there has been a past decline approaching 30% (so almost meets the requirements for listing as threatened under criterion A2cd). There is little evidence for present-day loss as logging is limited to local use; many of the locations are on very steep slopes often in remote forests where weather conditions are such, that it is difficult for commercial forestry activities (CITES 2009). Even though there is some evidence that recovery from grassland degradation (as a result of fire) is a problem, generally speaking it is an effective pioneer species, capable of abundant regeneration after large scale disturbances, both natural or man-made and therefore the population is considered to be more-or-less stable. However, this very important habitat could become more fragmented under current warming trends in combination with human-induced disturbances such as logging, clearance for agriculture and cattle grazing (Quiroga et al. 2012). With all the available evidence available it is reasonable to assess Podocarpus parlatorei as being Near Threatened.

Conservation Actions

The species was listed on Appendix I of CITES in 1975 and at the 18th meeting of the Plants Committee (PC18) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), it was maintained on this Appendix (CITES 2009). Large parts of the population are located within protected areas of Argentina and Bolivia. However, the most genetically variable subpopulations in the southern sector fall outside protected areas (Quiroga and Premoli 2007).

References and further reading

  1. Arturi M.F., Grau H.R., Aceñolaza P. G. and Brown, A.D. 1998. Estructura y sucesión en bosques montanos del Noroeste de Argentina. Revista de Biología Tropical 46: 525-532
  2. Blaser, J. 1996. Silvicultural considerations of listing timber species in Appendices I, II and III of CITES. Working document for the 2nd meeting of the CITES Timber Working Group (unpublished)
  3. Carilla J. and Grau, H.R. 2010. 150 years of tree establishment, land use and climate change in montane grasslands, northwest Argentina. Biotropica 42: 49-58
  4. CITES. 2008. Seventeenth meeting of the Plants Committee Geneva (Switzerland), 15-19 April 2008 Periodic review of plant species included in the CITES Appendices. Available at: http://www.cites.org/eng/com/pc/17/E-PC17-11.pdf. (Accessed: 22 October 2012).
  5. CITES. 2009. Eighteenth meeting of the Plants Committee Buenos Aires (Argentina), 17-21 March 2009 Proposals for possible consideration at CoP15 Proposals to amend the Appendices . Available at: http://www.cites.org/eng/com/PC/18/E-PC18-16-01-01.pdf. (Accessed: 22 October 2012)
  6. Fra, E.A., Salinas, R.S. and Perea, M. 2007. Distribución del pino del cerro, Podocarpus parlatorei Pilger (Podocarpaceae), en la provincia de Catamarca, Argentina. Lilloa 44(1-2): 99-105
  7. Morales, J.M., Sirombra, M and Brown, A.D. 1995. Riqueza de árboles en las Yungas argentinas. In: A.D. Brown and H.R. Grau (eds), Investigación, conservación y desarrollo en las selvas subtropicales de montaña., pp. 163-174. LIEY
  8. Navarro, G. and Ferreira, W. 2004. Zonas de vegetación potencial de Bolivia: Una base para el análisis de vacíos de conservación. Revista Boliviana de Ecología y Conservación Ambiental 15(1-40)
  9. Quiroga, M.P., 2015. The role of the marginal populations in the conservation of the gene pool of the only conifer Podocarpus parlatorei from south Yungas in Argentine and Bolivia. Ecología en Bolivia-Revista del Instituto de Ecología, 48(1).
  10. Quiroga, M.P. and Premoli, A.C. 2007. Genetic patterns in Podocarpus parlatorei reveal the long-term persistence of cold-tolerant elements in the southern Yungas. Journal of Biogeography 34: 447-455.
  11. Quiroga, M.P., Pacheco, S., Malizia, L.R. and Premoli, A.C. 2012. Shrinking forests under warming: evidence of Podocarpus parlatorei (pino del cerro) from the Subtropical Andes . Journal of Heredity 103(5): 682-689.
  12. Sachsse, H. and Schulte, E. 1987. Some important wood properties of the Bolivian Podocarpus parlatorei. Holz Als Roh-Und Werkstoff 45(12): 475-480

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